What will this mean for the civilian population still present? The ones that actually do survive the bombings & displacement forced upon them by the US and their Kurdish proxies?
Tribulation: Sorrow or Suffering due to Persecution
The US is already dropping bombs aplenty on Raqqa. It’s being reported today that the US is supplying an abundance of weapons to be employed against “ISIS” in Raqqa
You know the same ISIS that was leaving Raqqa last week to head to Palmyra?
Clearly the arms are actually for forcing an exodus of civilians, already occurring, and of course the taking/annexation by force of Syrian territory as the US assists PKK/YPG in their goal of Greater Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0
Pentagon spokesman Pahon told RT there were safeguards in place to prevent misuse of the weapons.Smoke and Mirrors. Smoke and Mirrors.
"Wherever possible, our advisors will monitor the use of the weapons and supplies we give the Kurdish elements of the SDF, ensuring use only against ISIS," he said. "Any alleged misuse or diversion of U.S. support will be taken seriously and lead to the possible curtailment of support, if verified."
There is no monitoring of weapons and supplies to the Kurds. There has been misuse, abuse and diversion and the US has done nothing. Hell US weapons, supplied to YPG, have ended up in Turkey, in the hands of PKK. Expect more of the same.
If Manbij is any example, and I’m sure it is, we can expect the remaining persons to be exposed to the ruthless dominance of the PKK/YPG
You will notice that the Atlantic Council author calls the Kurds SDF by their correct name- PKK. Cause that's what they are.
The SDF governance model for Raqqa mirrors the governing arrangements put in place in the city of Manbij after its capture by the SDF in August 2016. The Manbij civilian and military councils are now in charge of the city’s administration and the rural countryside. But according to a recent report by the International Crisis group (ICG), the SDF efforts to include Arabs in the Kurdish-led “Democratic Self-Administration” model have been superficial and do not amount to a meaningful share in governance. “Arab figures willing to participate in the Self-Administration are handed impressive titles but no real authority. Local governance bodies function as channels to convey complaints and petitions rather than as platforms for effective participation, while the ultimate power of decision rests with the Qandil-trained PKK cadres.”I'll repeat the facts:
efforts to include Arabs - have been superficial and do not amount to a meaningful share in governance having no real authority, while the ultimate power of decision rests with the Qandil-trained PKK cadres.”
The SDF sponsored model for Raqqa aims to ensure their control over the territories they capture from ISIS as a first step to integrating it in the Self-Administration project. The co-chair of the ruling Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) stated in March that Raqqa could become part of the Kurdish-led democratic federal system. “We expect [this] because our project is for all Syria…and Raqqa can be part of it,” he then added that “the people of Raqqa are the ones who take the decision on everything.”Tribulation
A similar conversation came up in a meeting with a senior Kurdish politician whom I met under the Chatham House rule, which prevents me from revealing his identity or affiliation.(PKK) The official clearly hinted that the SDF plan to include both Manbij and Raqqa in the Kurdish-led federal government in northern Syria that was adopted in March 2016. But he avoided giving a clear answer about their response if the people of Raqqa and Manbij refuse to join the Self-Administration model.
The implementation of the SDF plan is unlikely to foster meaningful local participation in governing Raqqa, which will increase tension and may lead to confrontations. According to the aforementioned ICG report, the Self-Administration model becomes fragile outside majority-Kurdish areas. “If the YPG and its allies do indeed capture Raqqa, stabilizing and controlling it with the organization’s current model could backfire, enabling the post-ISIS re-emergence of a jihadist insurgency (and accompanying racketeering networks) in asymmetric form – the very method that allowed the organization’s predecessor (al-Qaeda in Iraq) to survive and rebound from apparent defeat ten years ago.” In other words, ISIS will attempt to exploit the SDF’s reputation as a Kurd-dominated force to recruit and mobilize locals to fight against them.
A recent study by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy showed that all four major tribes of Raqqa are hostile to the Kurdish YPG and skeptical of the SDF which is likely to hinder the implementation of the SDF model in Raqqa. The study mentions locals’ concerns about a Kurdish territorial expansion at the expense of Arab tribes, mandatory conscription, arbitrary arrests, and retribution for associating with ISIS.Understand the why of all those US weapons?
The expanded Kurdish influence in the future running of the city is also sensitive for Turkey, which has fought its own Kurdish insurgency for three decades and fears growing Kurdish ascendancy just over the border in northern Syria. As a result, more extensive Turkish action against the SDF in Syria is possible, especially if tensions soar further.
Post-ISIS governance in Raqqa could only be successful if it allows locals to meaningfully develop and run their city separately from the YPG-PYD’s Self-Administration and reflect the city’s social composition. Doing so could also assure Turkey and other skeptical Syrians that the SDF’s capture of territory no longer means the arrival of single-party rule.