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Q. Fight to recapture Raqqa in Syria: Comment on ongoing operations for recapturing the city of Raqqa in Syria.
Nov 09, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Coalition forces of Syria and Kurdish fighters with help of American aid have lunched military operations against the Islamic State in Raqqa, to capture the city.  Raqqa city is the main power centre for IS, now coalition forces have launched operation with various assistance from USA. These forces have launched operation from Mosul also, by opening attack on Raqqa, strategy is to choke the IS from both sides.

Analysis-

  • Over the past year the Kurdish fighters have been consistently effective in ground battles against the IS. Most of the major territorial losses of the IS in Syria  were at the hands of the Kurds.
  • IS which once had direct access to the Turkish border, has now retreated to its core in Syria, stretching from Raqqa to Deir Ezzour. 
  • In this background, the operations by coalition forces has an upper hand against the IS and IS is facing difficulties to defend its most important cities at the same time.
  • Though coalition forces have upper hand, but they come up with challenges.

Challenges-

  • The coalition forces are certain face strong resistance from the jihadist forces, as Raqqa was one of the first city that IS was captured. It is believed that IS has place a ferocious, ideologically charged and battle-ready team.
  • The ongoing Mosul battle shows, breaching the IS defence lines will take time and also lives. And Raqqa has a population of more than 2 lakh. 
  • Though major air borne attacks help these coalition forces, but on the ground it will be risky and could result in large civilian casualties, as IS has used human shields to stop ground advances of enemies.
  • Similarly there is problem from Turkey also. Raqqa being a Sunni-populated town, Turkey is opposing role of Kurdish forces in coalition forces. 

Conclusion-

Advancement of coalition forces in Raqqa and Mosul reflects the demeaning powers of Islamic forces. Coalition forces with help of USA have damaged these groups to great extent. Though they are in upper hand in the war against IS, but they are facing various challenges. Hence there is an urgent need that the global communalities must help in resolving thee challenges.    

 


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