‘US succeeded only in creating chaos in Syria, Iraq’

Fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces take positions in northern province of Raqqa, Syria © Rodi Said
The US strategy in both Iraq and Syria ‘succeeded’ in terms of creating chaos and then using it as a pretext either to ‘bring democracy’ or ‘clear the area from terrorists’ – the same terrorists they backed, says Middle East expert Marwa Osman.

According to US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, the US-backed operation to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul has made significant gains. Moreover, the US is gearing up for a new assault on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.

However, the human rights organization Amnesty International claims that at least 300 civilians have been killed in air strikes conducted by the US-led coalition in Syria over the past two years.

RT: As we know, America's now preparing to help liberate Raqqa from ISIS by 'generating' local forces. Who on the ground does Washington have in mind?

Marwa Osman: First of all, before we start asking what groups is Washington backing, and supporting, and funding, and training on Syrian soil, let’s ask - who invited them to come and liberate Raqqa? It has been there under their noses, where they have been practically occupying half of the Iraqi land and a massive part of Syrian land, as well, without the consent and the agreement of the Syrian government.
Also, it was under their noses while they were at the Incirlik base, which is very close to Raqqa… the stronghold of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. They did nothing when they saw them coming through the desert in a Toyota convoy – they never targeted them…But talking about Raqqa, after Mosul, I think, [first] such a strategy is not to be taken without any serious considerations, because they are not invited, they will be treated as an occupation force in the Syrian land... And number two; if any sort of group is to be taken by the US, or to be trained, or even funded by the US, then that is treason in Syria. The group that is going to openly collaborate with the US-led coalition or with US forces as well will be treated as traitors…

At the moment, it is very obvious that the US has been playing the part of a mediator between the opposite sides. It was funding both sides - the Kurds directly, but the other side indirectly – through its proxy war, through allies. And now it is at the verge of trying to end it to seemingly show that they will take ISIS out at the time when they allowed it to evolve in the first place.

RT: The US Defense Secretary Ash Carter mentioned 'enabling' local forces. What does enable mean in this context? We know America has previously tried to train rebels. Why does Washington think it can pull it off this time?

MO: … According to the strategy of the US in both Iraq and Syria, they did succeed - they did succeed in creating chaos that was a basis for them to say that “we need to bring about democracy”, or “we need to clean the area of terrorists” – the same terrorists that were backed by them…

Just look at the map, and look where Raqqa is and where Mosul is, and on which border they lie. Raqqa is right on the borderline between Turkey and Syria, the same borderline that was open for US and Turkish airplanes to bomb, when the actual terrorists were infiltrating into Syrian territory… According to the reports issued by the UN and by other international organizations these missionaries are not even Syrians. So they obviously went through the border from one state to another – from Mosul and also from Turkey. Look at how vast the border is between Turkey and Syria.

When Carter was saying: “We do have the resources” for such an operation if you will, I think they are underestimating the fact that in Raqqa there are hundreds of thousands of civilians still living there, they are being besieged by ISIS…

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.