Western intelligence sources are reporting that some of the Syrian Sunni anti-Assad groups hitherto backed by the US and Arab governments have despaired of American support against the Russian-Syrian-Iranian offensive to capture northern Syria and are seeking ties with ISIS. This trend could jeopardize US plans to launch an early offensive to retake Raqqa from the Islamist group.
In Ankara, a Turkish spokesman warned that Washington’s decision to deploy Kurdish forces in the operations to liberate Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq would trigger a Kurdish-Arab clash in both key cities. He noted that Raqqa has a million Sunni Arab inhabitants who would never tolerate Kurdish occupation. This is pretty much the situation in Mosul as well.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner admitted Saturday that “moderate opposition” groups were “being driven” into the arms of extremists and Islamists, but attributed this solely to “increasing Russian military action.”