In my opinion, the real war and especially the battle of al-Bab, revealed serious institutional weaknesses of the Turkish army, which in peacetime was not so obvious. This applies both to the training of mechanized units and command structures responsible for operational planning. As a result, for several months, one of the strongest NATO armies can’t defeat a group of militants numbering about 3-3,5 thousand men in al-Bab, with at least a five-fold superiority in manpower, not to mention the overwhelming superiority in artillery, armored vehicles and aircraft.
This article will show some of the many instances of the Free Syrian Army and other “moderate opposition” working alongside extremist groups. It will also make clear that cooperation between these groups is not a recent development. Extremist groups presented in this article include Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa and even ISIS.
In January, Daesh lost a further 1000sq kilometres of territory in Iraq, and an additional 1000sq kilometres of territory in Syria. This means the group have now lost 62% of the territory they controlled in Iraq in August 2014, and 30% in Syria, as they are continually defeated on the battlefield. Key Daesh battlefield losses in January were to Iraqi forces in the Ninawa and Al Anbar Governorates, where the majority of losses were in eastern Mosul. In Syria, Daesh lost additional territory in Halab and Ar Raqqah Provinces. The majority of Daesh losses were in Ar Raqqah Province, to Syrian Democratic Forces advancing toward Tabqa Dam (Sadd al Furat).
Hussein said his emirs, or local Islamic State commanders, gave him and others a green light to rape as many Yazidi and other women as they wanted.
“Young men need this,” Hussein told Reuters in an interview after a Kurdish counter-terrorism agent removed a black hood from his head. “This is normal.”
Joseph Dunford, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Turkey on Friday for discussions about the offensive to retake Raqqa, the Islamic State (IS) stronghold in northern Syria, al-Monitor said.
The rapid advance of Kurdish light infantry and the support of the American aircraft easily broke through the veil of “black” to the North-East of Raqqa, and attempts to counter them by throwing in the reserves do not give the desired results. The Kurds suffered losses, but kept the occupied territories, which creates prerequisites for further “crimping” of Raqqa to the East.
Erdogan said that after the completion of the operation in the al-Bab, the Turkish army will attack in Raqqa. Given the configuration of the front line, just stepping through the territory of the Kurds.
The Kurds, in turn, expecting trouble on the part of Erdogan, are continuing to recruit battalions of new recruits in Rojava and continue operations in the area of Raqqa, in approaching the Eastern and North-Eastern outskirts of the capital of the Caliphate.