July 27, The Iran Project – Last week in Washington, an extraordinary gathering of foreign and defense ministers of thirty nations met to chart the next phase of the anti-Daesh campaign. All indicators suggest the meeting’s outcome will only deepen the strategic failure that has plagued the mission to date.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obaidi attended the meeting as well to discuss the next steps in the fight against ISIS, including how the US-led coalition can liberate the Iraqi and Syrian cities of Mosul and Raqqa.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told NPR’s Morning Edition last week that “Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq are our two primary objectives because they are…the self-proclaimed capital(s) of the self-proclaimed caliphate.” He said the coalition needed to retake those cities to “make sure that there isn’t any ISIS planning done there. It’s important to show that there cannot be and will not be an Islamic State based upon this ideology.”
While the main purpose of the coalition is combating terrorism, reviewing the two-year-old coalition’s performance indicates that the so-called anti-Daesh coalition are sponsoring terrorism and playing a pivotal role in massacre of innocent people.
The US is claiming that the attacks are carried out to assist the Syrian Kurds and Arabs fighting against Daesh in areas along the Turkish border in the province of Aleppo. However, the attacks have led to numerous deaths among the civilians and Syrian military forces.
The coalition attacks on Manbij intensified in late June after Kurds and Arabs from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance failed in their drive to fully push back militants from the city. The SDF has attempted several times to advance from the western neighborhoods it has captured into the road south of Manbij, which connects the strategic city to Raqqah, the de facto capital of Daesh in Syria.
Thousands have fled the fierce fighting in Manbij while tens of thousands more remain trapped in the city.
Last week, at least 56 civilians, including 11 children, were killed in air strikes on the Tokhar area in the northern city of Manbij in the Aleppo governate, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Ten others, including four children, were killed in coalition strikes on the village of Hamira, in the southern suburbs of Manbij.
The UK-based Observatory has put the total number of civilians killed by coalition strikes on Manbij since the Democratic Forces of Syria (DFS) launched their campaign there at the end of May, at 167.
Among the dead were about 44 children, 17 women and eight prisoners, the Observatory said.
Last week, Damascus addressed the UN to ask it to take action following the killing of over a hundred civilians, including many women and children, during what it says were airstrikes carried out by the US-led coalition. Syria’s Foreign Ministry said the attacks were conducted by French and US war planes in and around the city of Manbij close to the Turkish-Syrian border, while complaining that the coalition “send their missiles and bombs to the civilians instead of directing them to the terrorist gangs.”
In a meantime, although the coalition is trying to bring down the Syrian government, their measures have paved the ground for escalation of tension in the region.