11/22/17 Phil Giraldi on the deal struck between ISIS and the U.S. in Raqqa

Phil Giraldi is the executive director for the Council for the National Interest. His latest article for UNZ.com is “Boy Is This Stupid or What?” Giraldi details how the fight against ISIS in east Syria took a strange turn after the U.S. and coalition forces had reduced Raqqa, the capital of the caliphate, to rubble. After backing ISIS into a corner the coalition struck a deal with the remaining local fighters to leave under a conditional truce. Scott worries that scattered ISIS fighters—many of whom returned to their home countries—only makes blowback likelier. Giraldi then addresses the wild situation in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia where the Prime Minister resigned under clear pressure from Saudi Arabia, all of serves only to increase the simmering tensions in the region.

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He is the executive director for the Council for the National Interest and writes regularly for The American Conservative magazine and Antiwar.com.

Discussed on the show:

  • “Raqqa’s Dirty Secret” (BBC)
  • “Lost in reverie: Mattis claims UN let US intervene in Syria, although it never did” (RT)
  • Washington’s Secret Wars, by Phil Giraldi (Antiwar.com)
  • NATO vs. Syria, by Phil Giraldi (The American Conservative)
  • “Trump erroneously says Lebanon is ‘on the front lines’ fighting Hezbollah, a partner in the Lebanese government” (Chicago Tribune)
  • “Arab League designates Hezbollah as terrorist organisation, increasing regional tensions” (The Independent)
  • “Lebanon PM forced by Saudis to resign, says Hezbollah” (BBC)

Today’s show is sponsored by: NoDev, NoOps, NotIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com3tediting.comExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and Darrin’s Coffee.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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  1. The real motive for the deal was that US needed to free up the YPG fighters tied up in Raqqa as with the Kurds bogged down in a difficult urban battle the Russian-backed Syrian army had taken a big lead in the race to capture the Euphrates valley.

  2. This is just the smart way to fight. The last thing you want is to corner your enemy in an urban setting. The Syrian army has similarly allowed numerous such evacuations, for example of al-Qaeda from eastern Aleppo city in December-January, and of ISIS from Arsal on the Syrian-Lebanese borders a few months ago.

    This is how encirclement battles in Syria end, not with total annihilation but with evacuation deals. It was the same in Manbij, Tabqa and numerous tiny rebel enclaves in western Syria. If anything Syrians should be congratulated for managing to arrange these evacuations, along with numerous local cease-fires, and booming cross-frontline trade even in midst of a bloody civil war.

    American cowboys should also be congratulated for finally adapting to the more civilized Syrian ways, and allowing this evacuation to go through with. The last time their YPG proxies struck a deal for such an evacuation in Tabqa, the Americans bombed the retreating ISIS convoy to shreds anyway, which must have pissed off their Kurdish allies immensely as it makes the prospect of future life-saving deals much more difficult.

    The Kurds were not crazy about dying to take Arab Raqqa for Pentagon in the first place, so the least Americans who were not willing to bleed for the city themselves is allow the YPG to likewise limit its own casualties by allowing the last 250 surrounded ISIS fighters to evacuate.

    There is plenty wrong with US being in Syria but this evacuation deal is not one of those things. The wrong is really in that when Syria struck a similar deal with ISIS to evacuate from one part of Syria to another the US screamed hysterically and bombed the ISIS in the convoy and obstructed its movements.


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