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    Two big offensives are under way, one by the Iraqi Army to retake Fallujah (the last large city in ISIS hands in the Sunni heartland of Anbar province) and simultaneously the Syrian Democratic Forces faction is pushing south from Northern Syria towards Raqqa. They've conquered the final town on the road to the ISIS capital of Raqqa.

    You can look at the real-time battle map at this link

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/

    This follows the recent Iraqi operation that took the city of Rutba and all of Highway 1 which is the area between Baghdad in the centre of the country and its Western border with Jordan. After 2 years of being closed, the Iraqi-Jordanian border has re-opened.

    The coalition air campaign hasn't let up either, with continuous airstrikes both directly in support of Iraqi and Kurdish forces in battle with ISIS, and against ISIS logistics hubs, command centres and car-bomb factories. Here is one targeting pod video of a Royal Air Force airstrike last Friday against one such command centre.



    I predict by the end of the year ISIS will be starting to implode; already it has been rendered impotent and incapable of mounting large offensive operations. It's all downhill for them from here until we end up with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi being paraded through the streets of Baghdad in a cage like a Roman triumph
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    They still have people in western countries, that is the biggest threat, after all.
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    (Original post by RezzBerry)
    They still have people in western countries, that is the biggest threat, after all.
    This
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    (Original post by RezzBerry)
    They still have people in western countries, that is the biggest threat, after all.
    It's true that they are a threat, but the British Security Services particularly have done an excellent job of rooting out ISIS plots, trying and convicting the perpetrators.

    And consider; ISIS is the richest terrorist group the world has ever seen (hundreds of millions of dollars at least, in ready cash). They've had many thousands of volunteers from Western countries and tens of thousands from the rest of the world. They possess huge resources. But consider their worst attack (in Paris last November) killed about 130 people. It was terrible, but nowhere near the sort of audacious, devastating attack we saw on 9/11 by Al-Qaeda.

    Also keep in mind that the West is getting better at fighting terrorism, we've learned lessons. And we've hardened. After 15 years of fighting the war on terror, of continuous operations against Islamist terror networks, the special forces and intelligence services of Britain and America are more battle-hardened and experienced than any since World War 2 (in fact they're probably better).

    In distinction to the Iraq Campaign of 2003-2011 where the west lost thousands of troops, we've learned how to fight them in a way that plays to our strengths. In the present campaign, we've killed over 25,000 ISIS fighters, and only three Western soldiers have died. Clearly we've learned how to fight much smarter and more effectively.

    Through the ISIS phenomenon, the Sunni extremist world (encompassing all their supporters globally, in the west too) threw absolutely everything they had against Iraq and Syria, and against the West, attempting to set up their caliphate. They really gave it their all, and we've steamrolled over them almost without breaking a sweat. I think the Sunni world will learn lessons from this; we certainly have.
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    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    Two big offensives are under way, one by the Iraqi Army to retake Fallujah (the last large city in ISIS hands in the Sunni heartland of Anbar province) and simultaneously the Syrian Democratic Forces faction is pushing south from Northern Syria towards Raqqa. They've conquered the final town on the road to the ISIS capital of Raqqa.

    You can look at the real-time battle map at this link

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/

    This follows the recent Iraqi operation that took the city of Rutba and all of Highway 1 which is the area between Baghdad in the centre of the country and its Western border with Jordan. After 2 years of being closed, the Iraqi-Jordanian border has re-opened.

    The coalition air campaign hasn't let up either, with continuous airstrikes both directly in support of Iraqi and Kurdish forces in battle with ISIS, and against ISIS logistics hubs, command centres and car-bomb factories. Here is one targeting pod video of a Royal Air Force airstrike last Friday against one such command centre

    What do the civilians in Raqqah think about the offensive?
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    (Original post by AlifunArnab)
    What do the civilians in Raqqah think about the offensive?
    Oh dear.
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    (Original post by BaconandSauce)
    Oh dear.
    Is there something wrong with my question?
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    (Original post by AlifunArnab)
    Is there something wrong with my question?
    Yes very wrong

    But tell me what do you think they would be saying? (I think they will be grateful to be liberated from under the yoke of the barbarian and foreign invaders)
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    (Original post by AlifunArnab)
    What do the civilians in Raqqah think about the offensive?
    Presumably some are in support of it (because there are human intel sources and underground resistance groups in Raqqa). Others would oppose it because they naturally fear the battle and the safety of their family. Still others would oppose it because they are ISIS supporters.

    I'm sure you could find German inhabitants of Berlin in 1945 who would oppose the allied attack on their city. That is not an argument to assert the immorality of such an action.

    War is cruelty. People are hurt, and people die. But people are dying every day under the boot of ISIS despotism. Every day ISIS exists it threatens the security of the region and increases the likelihood of an all-out sectarian war between the Sunni and the Shi'a. Every day gay men are hurled off buildings by ISIS thugs; if these dead men could talk, what do you imagine they'd think about the SDF offensive against Raqqa?
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    (Original post by BaconandSauce)
    Yes very wrong

    But tell me what do you think they would be saying? (I think they will be grateful to be liberated from under the yoke of the barbarian and foreign invaders)
    https://twitter.com/Raqqa_SL/status/735221372461420545
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    In general

    inaction is not the answer here (unless that is you want to maintain the status quo)
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    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    Presumably some are in support of it (because there are human intel sources and underground resistance groups in Raqqa). Others would oppose it because they naturally fear the battle and the safety of their family. Still others would oppose it because they are ISIS supporters.

    I'm sure you could find German inhabitants of Berlin in 1945 who would oppose the allied attack on their city. That is not an argument to assert the immorality of such an action.

    War is cruelty. People are hurt, and people die. But people are dying every day under the boot of ISIS despotism. Every day ISIS exists it threatens the security of the region and increases the likelihood of an all-out sectarian war between the Sunni and the Shi'a. Every day gay men are hurled off buildings by ISIS thugs; if these dead men could talk, what do you imagine they'd think about the SDF offensive against Raqqa?
    (Original post by BaconandSauce)
    In general

    inaction is not the answer here (unless that is you want to maintain the status quo)

    The problem is that we're treating the Kurds / Shia militias as though they're heroes. The truth is far from that, and we need to be realistic as to what we'll expect. The Kurds have ethnically cleansed Sunni civilians before (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-10289475.html) and in general the people of Raqqah do not want them.

    I'm not saying ISIS doesn't need to go but both they as well as those attacking them are oppressors. There is no liberation or anything even close to it. It's one group of invaders being ousted by another group of invaders.
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    (Original post by AlifunArnab)
    The problem is that we're treating the Kurds / Shia militias as though they're heroes. The truth is far from that, and we need to be realistic as to what we'll expect. The Kurds have ethnically cleansed Sunni civilians before (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-10289475.html) and in general the people of Raqqah do not want them.
    The Kurds have made some mistakes, but it is not Kurdish policy (either KRG or YPG) to ethnically cleanse Arab villages. The handful of instances where this happened the commanders went beyond their authority.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces faction are not just Kurds, there are Arab Sunnis in it as well. Raqqa is being Silently Slaughtered have done some admirable work, but they also offer no solution. Raqqa cannot be allowed to remain as a nest of terrorist activity, and the SDF is the only viable force. Furthermore, the best guess is that the SDF is merely preparing the ground; other Sunni Arab forces are being marshaled coming up from the South, from Jordan and also that some Arab states will contribute troops to retake it.

    I'm not saying ISIS doesn't need to go but both they as well as those attacking them are oppressors.
    The Kurds are not oppressors. There are even Sunni Arabs in the Peshmerga. They are flawed human beings, but in a region characterised by utter disregard for human life and extremism, they are one of the few beacons of hope
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    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    The Kurds have made some mistakes, but it is not Kurdish policy (either KRG or YPG) to ethnically cleanse Arab villages. The handful of instances where this happened the commanders went beyond their authority.
    Just to be clear, I'm referring to the Kurds in Syria (PKK / YPG). It's been way too consistent to say they've made mistakes. The fact is, the Kurds do not care for the civilians in Raqqah and their only objective is to create the Rojava state. That is why you see civilians running away from the Kurds to enter ISIS territory.

    If civilians run away from a group to live under ISIS, the situation under those groups must be horrendous. We've seen in Tel Abyad how the Kurds forced the Arabs living there to leave, and the reality is they don't care about civilians or Syria in general. They back stabbed the revolution to get their own state.


    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    The Syrian Democratic Forces faction are not just Kurds, there are Arab Sunnis in it as well. Raqqa is being Silently Slaughtered have done some admirable work, but they also offer no solution. Raqqa cannot be allowed to remain as a nest of terrorist activity, and the SDF is the only viable force. Furthermore, the best guess is that the SDF is merely preparing the ground; other Sunni Arab forces are being marshaled coming up from the South, from Jordan and also that some Arab states will contribute troops to retake it.
    The SDF is primarily Kurdish with some Arab Sunnis there. It's mostly run by the Kurds with other groups like Jaysh thuwar Raqqa making a small percentage.

    Raqqa is being silently slaughtered simply reports the situation going on in Raqqah. They're simply telling us what we already know. ISIS are bad, but the people in Raqqah generally do not want the Kurds there.

    You have the New Syrian army in the South but I do not know much about them to comment on them, nor is it particularly relevant for the battle of Raqqah.

    In Iraq on the other hand, you have the Shia militias fighting in Fallujah, although they were the ones who contributed to the creation of ISIS with their indiscriminate killings of ISIS.



    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    The Kurds are not oppressors. There are even Sunni Arabs in the Peshmerga. They are flawed human beings, but in a region characterised by utter disregard for human life and extremism, they are one of the few beacons of hope
    The Peshmerga are better than the PKK / YPG. I wouldn't say killing / displacing civilians is a good start to being a beacon of hope.
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    Some British jihadi bride posted some tweets saying that there would be terror attacks in London next month

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-campaign.html


    I can only say three things to that.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    1) They know that they're losing and they're trying to make a final desperate attempt to scare people
    2) I can see why Mrs Terror decided to wear a niqab. She makes my face look like Mila Kunis' which makes me feel so much better
    3) The hate she has been getting on twitter is so so funny.
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    CNN article which pretty much mirrors what I've said.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/25/mi...inkId=24864378
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    (Original post by AlifunArnab)
    CNN article which pretty much mirrors what I've said.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/25/mi...inkId=24864378
    If anyone is under the impression that ISIS are better than the Kurds then they're a moron. Officially.
 
 
 
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