After the Fall of Raqqa

By Dr Jan Best de Vries:

The military situation on the ground around and in Raqqa is clear: the villages north of Raqqa have been taken by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by the YPG and YPJ, the villages south of Raqqa by Assad̉΄s Arabian Army with the support of Iranian elite troops, whereas the northern part of Raqqa itself is already conquered by the SDF and the centre and southern part of the town are still in the possession of IS.

In the air both the coalition led by the Americans and the Russians are daily bombing the remaining parts in the hands of IS to ruins. However, it is the situation on the ground which will be decisive in the conflict between the SDF and Assad´s army which, without any doubt, will follow after the reconquest of Raqqa upon the inevitable defeat of IS. Like the Kurds in Iraq claim Kirkuk as a town originally belonging to Kurdish territory, which only after arabization by Saddam Hussein was stolen from them, so the Syrian Kurds consider Raqqa as originally belonging to Rojava before the arabization of the town by father and son Assad. When the SDF and the Arabian Army will meet halfway in a reconquered Raqqa a stalemate in the occupation of the town is unavoidable and comparable with that in Hasakah. It is to be expected that, after the expulsion of IS from the town, the real battle of Raqqa will just begin because none of the armies will concede Raqqa to the other.

Unless Mr. Putin will find a similar solution as was negotiated for Hasakah, war is the only alternative.

Dr. Jan Best de Vries is an archaeologist and historian, decipherer of the so-called Byblos Script from Aleppo and Alalakh (‘How to Decipher the Byblos Script’, LIT Verlag, Münster 2017). He hopes to visit once more the feminist Yekitiya Star Akademiya in Rimelan to give to the recruits of the YPJ the master class in Prehistoric Women’s Cultures of his late soulmate Nanny de Vries.

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