Then there is the spin from the alt media. Claiming it is unclear how the Trump administration plans to “proceed on Syria”? Which very nearly shadows the msm presentation by muddying the waters and presenting plans as unclear?
It is quite clear that the Trump administration plans to proceed. They've done exactly that. Proceed. Move forward. Expand operations. They have brought in additional weapons and soldiers- They have blocked SAA and their allies. They are enabling the ethnic cleansing and annexation of Syrian territory and infrastructure. The US wants the airport to expand operations The US has just made Syria's position at upcoming negotiations in Geneva weaker.While bolstering the YPG/PKK terrorists. There is nothing unclear about the move or Trumps plans to proceed. He, in fact, has just proceeded.
Since media shapes our perception it's always good to be aware of presentation.
The US has been softening Raqqa for a while now, covered here on a number of occasions. Last time: Raqqa Revisit- Turkey's Syria Border Wall More then Half Complete
Flashback: November 2016 - Turkey: No US Cooperation on Safe Zone/Border Wall Construction Continues & Raqqa
Flashback: October 30/2016: The US & Israel's Taking of Raqqa Impeded by Intermeddlers
Including bombing bridges and all around the dam etc. What else is there to take away from this but that the US is expanding operations in Syria?
The news from Raqqa is hard to come by- but here is what I’ve managed to find today
If anyone can assist in filling gaps I would appreciate it a great deal- Thanks in advance.
US Airdrop of Forces in Raqqa Draws New Sphere of Influence
Some of this information was covered in yesterday's post
The US-led international coalition against ISIS conducted on Tuesday night an airdrop of US forces and local allied fighters near the city of Tabqa in the northern province of Raqqa,
Sources following up developments in the region said the US airdrop came to support Arab members of the SDF, which includes a majority of Kurdish fighters backed by Washington.
“This new development will draw new borderlines to the sphere of influence in the region,” Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahman told Asharq Al-Awsat.
He said the presence of US forces and their allies in the area would prevent regime forces from advancing in the direction of the southern suburbs of Raqqa city.
“It will also prevent regime forces from controlling the Taqba military airport,” Abdel Rahman said.
SDF sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that members from the Kurdish internal security force, Asayesh, also took part in the airdrop, adding it was the second joint landing operation between US forces and the Kurds.
Civilians under fire- Not a shocker
But for residents of Tabqa, a city of around 80,000 people just south of the dam, the onslaught poses a major threat to their lives, as their homes, schools and even a bakery come under fire from the air.
This week, US-led coalition airstrikes have killed dozens of civilians in Tabqa and nearby towns and villages, as part of a months-long campaign to advance toward Raqqa city. An airstrike Monday night reportedly killed at least 33 displaced people taking shelter in a school building located in a nearby town.
|Tabqa on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently.|
"It is very difficult for people to move around inside the city and its countryside because of the warplanes," Abu Juwwad, a Tabqa resident and 40-year-old father of three, tells Syria Direct reporter Noura al-Hourani. A local monitoring group reported airstrikes targeting Tabqa throughout the day on Thursday.
At least 37 civilians have been killed in and around Tabqa over past 24 hours alone, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a local human rights monitor, posted online late Wednesday night.
Q: Are there any fears that the Tabqa Dam will be targeted? If it is hit, what is the likely result?
The coalition is targeting the area surrounding the Tabqa Dam on a daily basis.
It is true that they have not hit the structure of the dam directly, but they targeted the area around it, which could alter the structure of the earth in the area. This is making us fear that the dam will collapse.
If this happens, the result could be catastrophic for Tabqa city, Raqqa, Deir a-Zor, and even Iraq. The dam holds an incredible amount of water behind it. If it erupts, it will be a humanitarian catastrophe that nobody will be able to handle.
Ed.: Tabqa Dam’s former head engineer, Abdullah Juwwad Sukran, warned Syria Direct in the past that clashes near the dam risk targeting the structure, unleashing a flood of “historic proportions” downriver in Raqqa and Deir a-Zor, and submerging thousands of acres of farmland.]Collapsing dams have been discussed previously here- I won't rehash the danger if a collapse should occur
Bayık: If SDF liberates Raqqa, Turkey's influence will wane – PART I
This article covers Turkey’s no win situation regarding Raqqa- The annexation of Syrian territory and the creation of Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0hatip to anonymous commenter who reminded me of a way back post from 2013- I'd forgotten entirely about it!
I read it briefly, but, must review the linked material
As observed June 2013, by yours truly"The overall U.S. policy toward Turkey is largely determined by the United States’ need and appreciation for Turkey as a strategic partner and NATO ally"
Which could tell us that the US policy, being determined by the US's need for Turkey as a strategic partner and ally, can change depending on whatever 'need' the US determines is strategic at the time it is setting policy.