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.
Pro-Turkish militants entrenched outside the city and wait for the Turkish air force and artillery to do their job, to resume the assault on the city. The events once again proved that “green” infantry has a very low resistance and at the first problem has a tendency to retreat, even with the numerical advantage. However, these tactical successes don’t cancel growing problems for the “black” – the Syrians and the SAA are advancing on both sides to track the key supply that devalues the local success of the Caliphate in the battle for Bza ‘ah.
Abdullah al-Ahmadi, an SDF officer, told ARA News that their forces closed in on Tabqa Dam. “Our forces today liberated the Suwaydiya town from ISIS. We are currently approaching the strategic Tabqa Dam.”
“Soon we’ll attack ISIS at the key dam in order to cut off a main ISIS supply line between the town of Tabqa and Raqqa city,” al-Ahmadi said.
About what is happening in Deir ez-Zor and Palmyra, the SAA are now deploying offensive activity against the Caliphate in three directions. You can say that the command of the SAA intends to use the difficulties of the Caliphate on other fronts and stiffness of their forces battle for Deir-ez-Zor, to use the achieved numerical superiority on the chosen directions of attacks.
In General, the parties expected the talks in Astana on January 23 and subsequent negotiations between Russia and USA that somehow will clarify many important points for understanding the future course of the winter-spring campaign of 2017. Prerequisites to a complete end of hostilities of course not – it is about changing foreign policy situation around Syria and the definition of the list of hot fronts, where fighting will continue and which will be created by military means the conditions for the subsequent peace talks.This negotiation step is necessary to consolidate a new military-political reality established after the defeat of the “green” in the battle for Aleppo.
In General, we can say that the relationship of Turkey with the activities of the Russian military coalition in Syria is quite obvious, and while Erdogan is fulfilling its obligations (that he was not talking in public), he will continue to be our companion in the Syrian war. However, given the changeable nature of Erdogan and the vacillation of traditional Turkish foreign policy, the ear with it should be kept open.