Turkey and the United States can begin a joint operation to capture Raqqa, said President Erdogan. Experts believe that to take Raqqa Turks can force a couple of divisions, but it is possible and the script of Dzharablus” when the Turks simply deal with ISIS and took the city without a fight. But Washington these days is preparing to sign a deal on Syria with Moscow, and therefore, such plans will need the consent of Russia.
Turkey accepted the US proposal together to liberate the Syrian city of raqqa, the capital of the “Caliphate” of ISIS*, said Wednesday the newspaper Hurriyet, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“A significant part of the population of Raqqa and the surrounding area supports ISIS, and earlier at the Pentagon, for example, recognized that the liberation of Raqqa and Mosul will take several years”
“Obama told me he wants something with us to do with Raqqa. We said that from our side there will be no objections. We suggested that our military was found and discussed further opportunities and action plan” – said Erdogan on Board the plane on the way from the G20 summit in China.
He did not fail to remind that a year ago offered States a joint offensive on Raqqa, if the US stop supporting the Kurds, however, were a failure. In particular, according to him, in November last year at the meeting of leaders of “twenty” in Antalya also discussed the plan of joint clean-up operations along the 95-km stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border to a depth of 40 kilometers, but the plan was postponed.
Now, operations in the North of Syria does not interfere, Erdogan stressed. “We are very happy to work with US in al-Rai (the province of Aleppo, in Northern Syria). We have cooperated and continue to cooperate in Dzharablus” he said. Turkey needs to demonstrate its strength, Erdogan said, Recalling the successful operation in the Dzharablus. Ankara must show that there is in the region” and has no right to “take a step back,” added Erdogan.
Enough for a couple of divisions
As suggested by former chief of the Israeli secret services “Nativ” Yaakov Kedmi, in the case that the US and Turkey will coordinate their actions to liberate Raqqa could Turkish mechanized with minimal involvement under the control of the Turks, detachments of the so-called moderate opposition and us air support. “I don’t know how the Turks need support from American special forces on land, but also do not exclude that it will be provided when such need”, – said the expert newspaper VIEW.
From a military point of view, the capture of the capital of the Caliphate to the Turks is quite on the shoulder, says Kedmi. “Turkey has one of the strongest armies in the middle East, theoretically, Raqqa enough two mechanized divisions”, – he said. In his opinion, the fall of Raqqa will significantly accelerate the fall of the “Islamic state”, and then on the agenda will be a question about the release of the rest of Syria from the other extremist movements.
More recently, the American generals seriously discussed the plans for the assault on Raqqa by forces of the Kurdish militia. “Kurdish, as a rule, do not fight outside their own territory, and around Raqqa there is no Kurdish settlement,” – said Kedmi. Now, when Syria entered the Turkish army, the participation of Kurds in the assault is unrealistic.
The President of the Institute of religion and policy Alexander Ignatenko, in contrast, believes that an easy victory will not work, especially since Washington has not yet confirmed the words of Erdogan. “While the United States expressed readiness for a ground operation, and Turkey is unlikely to succeed to liberate Raqqa alone. We are talking only about the intentions,” – said the newspaper VIEW Ignatenko.
Dzharablus many suspected, was commissioned as a result of collusion Turks and Islamists, he recalled, whereas the raqqa – a stronghold of ISIS, so it is unlikely it will be able to take as easily, there is a risk to get bogged down in fierce street battles. “A significant part of the population of Raqqa and the surrounding area supports ISIS, and earlier at the Pentagon, for example, recognized that the liberation of Raqqa and Mosul will take several years,” said Ignatenko. He also believes the real main target of the Kurds of Turkey: “Erdogan is moving the course which he began to implement 24 August – namely, to prevent in the North of Syria has formed a Kurdish autonomy that would or could become in the future Kurdish state – the Republic of Rozhava,” – said the expert.
He reminded that the Kurds are actively preparing for the liberation of Raqqa and was considered the “main striking force in its liberation.” But their involvement they were led by the principle: who is liberated, and he owns. They talked openly about the fact that raqqa, which was not originally Kurdish territory, will be part of a future Kurdish state.
3.5 thousand commando fist to Raqqa
“No ground operations of the city. The Turks have the opportunity to introduce additional military forces into Syria is legitimate, under the guise of the Americans, without fear of getting hit in the rear by the Syrian government”, – has reminded in conversation with the newspaper LOOK President of the Institute of Middle East Yevgeny Satanovsky.
The expert does not exclude that Erdogan’s words are confirmed and the Turks do agree with US about the assault on Raqqa. However, the Kurds and the Arab Pro-American groups are very weak in combat, he said. The Americans to carry out ground operations with its own forces don’t either, but they still had to send the first region 500 riot police, then coordinate three thousand, reminded Satanovsky. “Three and a half thousand of their troops, they can concentrate at Raqqa at any time. This is quite a serious force. And if it is supported by something as intelligible, they definitely. They desperately need some kind of land force that could act as a striking force by the IG,” – said Satanovskiy.
“To symbolically stuck a flag”
However, Satanovsky considers that it is likely that the repeat option Dzharablus – “the Turks will have to negotiate with the Islamists, to pay money to the troops missed in the centre of Raqqa and there symbolically stuck a flag. Not Americans the task and not the task of the Turkey – the defeat of the radial groups. They do not fight, and imitate fighting against them – whether it’s “al-Qaeda”, “jabhat an-Nusra or Islamic state. So any serious victories, especially the long-term consolidation of Americans, there will not be”, – predicts Satanovsky.
“The challenge for Erdogan is power and nothing but power,” reminded Satanovsky. Erdogan wants to weaken the Alliance of the Americans and the Kurds, so he offers himself as an ally. Embroil the Kurds with the Americans he will. How will betray the Americans the Kurds, no doubt, while simultaneously giving them weapons that they remain a headache in the rear Erdogan is more or less close future.
Meanwhile, Western major media are not sure of the veracity of the words of Erdogan. They suggest that the operation of Turkey actually quarreled Washington and Ankara. “When the Turkish army struck at militants in Syria last week, the Pentagon welcomed this. But behind the scenes remains a fact that the cooperation between the two NATO partners broke at the highest levels, it was noted by officials from both sides. Neither one nor the other party had that attitude for surgery, which they stated publicly,” wrote The Wall Street Journal. The publication pointed out: “when the Turks And Kurds entered the fray, the Pentagon had only extremely foolish to encourage both sides to settle down”.
Senior researcher at the Centre for Arab and Islamic studies, Institute of Oriental studies Boris Dolgov is convinced that a joint operation between the USA and Turkey in fact can mean the struggle for the realization of the “American scenario” solution to the Syrian crisis. “And raqqa, North Syria is a sovereign state, and if the plan is implemented, and raqqa will fall under the control of Turkey, and she leads the forces of the “Free Syrian army” (FSA), this would mean that part of the country will control the SSA. This can have far-reaching consequences”, – said Debts, RIA “Novosti”.
“Such actions will inevitably be preceded by consultations with Russia and Iran. Now the Russian VKS partially controlled airspace ATS, so we need consultations with the Russian military and leadership,” warned the expert.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”