The war in Syria and Iraq: the latest news
Over the past weekend, the situation in Syria once again was in the spotlight of major world media. All sides have intensified the fighting. The main event of the last three days certainly was the entrance of the Syrian army into the province of Raqqa, with the support of the Russian aviation and PMCs. The goal is Raqqa city, the unofficial capital of ISIS. Syrian forces have led an offensive to al-Tabaqa airbase on the coast of Assad Lake, crucial to capturing the terrorist’s nest.
The re-grouping of the main troops in Raqqah led to the weakening of the official forces in the Aleppo area. As a result, extremists, including those supported by the United States, went on the offensive. Significant position in southern Aleppo are lost. Among the militants are Islamists from Central Asia (Imam Bukhari battalion). Russia is making efforts for a new truce in Syria with the rebels in order to prevent their advance to the south of Aleppo, and free up forces to strike ISIS. This is the purpose of negotiating with Americans, who controls these militants.
In the south of Aleppo, extremists said that a jet was shot down. It was not specified whether it was a Russian or Syrian one. The Russian military command denies the information about the possible loss of a Russian jet.
The Kurdish offensive in Raqqa, with the support of the Americans, has stopped; demonstrative airstrikes from jets launched from an aircraft carrier did not help. Jets on the USS Harry S. Truman conducted airstrikes against the Islamic State from the Mediterranean Sea on Friday 4th July. The Kurds lost a senior commander, and an ISIS sniper killed Abu Layla, who commanded a brigade inside the predominantly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces. Now, the main forces of the Kurds and allied Arab forces are concentrated near the town of Manbij in Aleppo province. US Special Forces provide support for Kurds in this direction. There were reports of the death of another American in the battle.
British media reported for the first time publicly that the special forces of the United Kingdom are also fighting in Syria on the side of the militants operating in the area of the Jordanian border. The main forces of the British are placed in the former British colony - Jordan.
Deir ez-Zor is still blocked by ISIS. The area under the control of government forces is constantly decreasing. Thus the situation in Syria is contradictory. After winning on one front, the government army loses in others.
In Iraq, the combined forces of the Iraqi Shiite militia and the government army continues to attempt to take Fallujah. The battles so far have inflicted serious losses of more than 2,000 dead and about 5,000 injured. ISIS’ loss declared by the Iraqi authorities is 402 militants. The offensive is supported by both the Americans and the Iranians.
At the same time, representatives of Iraqi Shiites have accused the United States of supporting ISIS. In a TV interview broadcast on Iranian television, Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the pro-Iranian Shiite militia chief, said: "We believe there is American as well international support for ISIS."
According to him, US air strikes were underway against ISIS targets in Fallujah in support of the Shiite militias' offensive.
Analysis of the situation shows: ISIS retains a high combat capability and has a strong resistance, despite attempts to attack the main centers of the terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria. New countries are drawn into the open war because of their interests (UK), which only increases the prospects of maintaining the state of all-against-all warfare in Syria.
Meanwhile Al-Baghdadi called for ISIS to switch attention to other countries - first of all, Libya. However, the appeal was interpreted as a call for a withdrawal from Syria and Iraq. The greatest danger to ISIS is an offensive from the Syrian troops in Raqqa. However, the limited power of the Syrian army does not allow success to be built upon, but enough to capture the capital of ISIS. The pro-American militias in Aleppo actually disrupted the offensive and the elimination of ISIS. Taking Raqqa would be a huge victory for al-Assad and the Russian Federation. That is why the United States will do everything to prevent this from happening.