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American Resistance To Empire

Bandar’s Boy, Ahmad Jarba, Claims To Lead Arab Assault Force Upon Raqqa

[Ahmad Jarba is Bandar’s man in Syria, former pimp, drug-runner, and alleged Qatari-paid hitman (SEE: The Criminal Record of the Head of the Syrian National Coalition).]

[SEE: Bandar’s 2008 Plan To Overthrow Bashar al-Assad—Mar. 30, 2011 ;Prince Bandar’s Wake-Up Call ; The Redirection ]

Syrian opposition figure to deploy all-Arab force in Raqqa offensive

Reuters

 

 

Ahmad Jarba, former head of the opposition National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, and currently the leader and the founder of Alghad Alsoury Current (The Syrian Tomorrow Current), speaks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, Egypt January 29, 2017. Picture taken January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
By Mahmoud Mourad | CAIRO

A Syrian opposition figure who says he controls 3,000 Arab fighters has told Reuters they are training with U.S.-led coalition forces in preparation to help drive Islamic State from its de facto capital in the city of Raqqa.

Ahmad Jarba commands the Syrian Elite Forces, described by the U.S. military as a significant component of the coalition assembled against Islamic State.

Its involvement in the battle for Raqqa, alongside the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), is welcomed by Washington, which is keen to broaden the political base of the opposition forces in the area.

“Now we are preparing for the battle of Raqqa,” Jarba said in an interview in Cairo. “There is a training program with the coalition forces. We will be ready to enter this battle in force and we are in the process of preparing for it to liberate our lands.”

The SDF launched an operation in Raqqa province in November aimed ultimately at seizing the northern city from Islamic State. The first two phases captured territory to the north and west of Raqqa and the third will seek to take remaining areas.

One decision awaiting U.S. President Donald Trump is whether to directly provide weapons to Kurdish fighters as they push toward Raqqa. Trump has made defeating Islamic State a key aim and ordered his joint chiefs of staff to devise a plan in 30 days to defeat the group.

ARAB CONTINGENT

The United States considers the Kurds allies in Syria but has said the Raqqa operation should be predominantly Arab, the ethnicity of most of its residents. The SDF already includes an Arab contingent, the Syrian Arab Coalition, but recruiting Arab allies has been a priority to ease ethnic concerns locally and in neighboring Turkey.

Jarba said he had struck a deal with the U.S.-led coalition in December to deploy his all-Arab force in the fight for Raqqa.

“In the last two months there have been meetings with senior officials of the American army and the international coalition forces against terrorism,” he said.

Colonel John Dorrian, spokesman for the U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve, described Jarba’s men in December as a “notable” force, and said the Syrian was an influential player in the region.

The SDF also confirmed in December that Jarba’s forces would be joining it from the second phase of the attack on Raqqa.

‘FEUD WITH TERRORISTS’

Jarba enjoys strong ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and commands what he says is a force of 3,000, currently deployed between Deir al-Zor to the east, Raqqa to the north and Hasaka in the northeastern corner of Syria.

He aims to attract new recruits among locals who helped expel President Bashar al-Assad’s army from northeastern Syria in 2011-12 before losing ground to Islamic State, which swept through the area in 2014.

“There is a feud between us and this terrorist organization,” said Jarba, who hails from northeastern Syria.

He welcomed Trump’s move to heal differences with Russia, a key Assad ally whose military support has swung the six-year civil war in favor of the government.

“What we are hoping for is that there will be a American-Russian agreement, because the differences between America and Russia are what have harmed us as Syrians,” he said.

Jarba said he would likely visit the United States in the coming months and may also travel to Russia.

(Writing by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

 

Trump Advisor Steve Bannon (Breitbart) Predicts Wars With China, Middle East; Pentagon

SitRep: Trump Advisor Bannon Predicts Wars With China, Middle East; Pentagon Officials Say Gloves Off in Yemen

Bannon’s world. For someone who ran a media company — and hosted a radio show — before become President Trump’s top advisor, there’s been an air of mystery surrounding Steve Bannon. The USA Today went back and listened to dozens of recordings of the show he hosted for the conspiracy-minded, ultra-right wing Breitbart media company, and found that much of what he said in 2015 and early 2016 has since been parroted by POTUS.

Earlier this week, Trump made Bannon a member of his National Security Council, taking the highly unusual step of installing a political adviser in the middle of his national security team.

In one episode, Bannon said, “you have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian West is on the retreat” He went on to predict a war between the U.S. and China within the next decade.

He also predicted “a major shooting war in the Middle East” in the coming years. “To be brutally frank, I mean Christianity is dying in Europe, and Islam is on the rise,” he said in January 2016. “Some of these situations may get a little unpleasant,” Bannon said. “But you know what, we’re in a war.”

Keep an eye on Yemen. Some Pentagon officials are looking at Yemen as a place where the Trump administration might allow the military more room for action than the Obama administration, according to the Washington Post’s Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Missy Ryan.

After the weekend’s Navy SEAL raid on an al Qaeda camp that killed over a dozen fighters — along with the 8 year-old daughter of deceased American cleric Anwar ­al-Awlaki, who was killed in 2011 in a U.S. drone strike – along with Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, defense officials see more action coming. “We expect an easier approval cycle [for operations] under this administration,” one defense official told the Post. Another former officials with experience in Yemen said that more U.S. troops on the ground in Yemen was “overdue.”

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