IGIL * suffered a new defeat - this time its capital, the Syrian city of Rakka, fell. This is not only the largest loss from a purely military point of view, no less important is the propaganda blow against the "Islamic state." What was the significance of Racca and how will her liberation affect the Syrian war as a whole?
"Syrian democratic forces" on Tuesday said that the major battles in Rakka had been completed, the militants of the "Islamic State" had lost control of their former capital. The SDS indicated that the city was now being cleared of small foci of resistance and cleared.
The Pentagon also notes that in the city there are still pockets of resistance, reports CNN. On the eve of the Americans promised not to release militants from the city. However, it seems, the word did not hold back - the militants were nevertheless allowed to leave. A video clip appeared in one of the Telegram channels, which depicts the withdrawal of militants from the last area they were holding - the "fourth", in which the city hospital is located.
As writes Lenta.ru, the decisive storming of Rakki began on Sunday. According to the Syrian opposition, published on Tuesday, over a thousand civilians, including almost 300 children, died in Rakka since the summer. Among the participants in the fighting more than two thousand killed.
And although IGIL * moved its headquarters to the city of Mayadin at the beginning of the year, in any case, the fall of the former capital inflicts the strongest reputational blow to the group. According to the ideology of IGIL, RIA Novosti notes, the "true" caliphate must expand, capturing more and more cities. If this does not happen, the caliphate proclaimed by the Igilovites is not real. The fall of Rakki can cause an outflow of Islamist fanatics who came to IGIL from around the world, as well as the loss of interest of sponsors from Sunni countries to this movement.
Until recently, it was Rakka that allowed controlling the way from the caliphate to Turkey, where oil was exchanged for food, new militants were traveling and weapons were delivered. Through this city of wounded militants were taken out for treatment in Turkey.
IGIL had the main political and ideological slogan - "There is and is expanding", although it has nothing to do with the ideology of Salafism, the president of the Institute of Religion and Politics, Orientalist Alexander Ignatenko told the newspaper VIEW.
"Undoubtedly, the defeat in Rakka has become a strong blow to the" Islamic state ". It was in Rakka that the Igilovites tried to realize all their ideological moments, to create the foundation of the caliphate. I have in mind both the administrative system, and the economic and Shariah regulations, including Shariah punishments, such as chopping off heads and so on, "Ignatenko said. "Now they will not have such a platform."
But although the "Caliphate is squandering," it is not worth talking about its complete collapse, the expert believes. "In the global context, the capture of Rakka is just one of the rounds of fighting against IGIL. In other parts of the world - in the Middle East, Africa and even in Asia - while the expansion of IGIL continues. According to my calculations, at least four dozens of Wilayats, that is, branches of the "Islamic State", around the world, were announced, "the expert said.
Now the activity of the Igilovs is growing at Sinai, the interlocutor noted. In the Philippines, for six months now, there have been battles with pro-Guilian militants, and examples can be continued, he said. "YIGIL also had so-called sleeping cells, and" lonely wolves, "Ignatenko recalled.
"In the European Union, there are currently thousands of IGIL fighters. Almost every day there are reports that terrorist acts are committed in favor of IGIL with the use of cars and knives. Yes, even in Syria, the light wedge on Rakka for IGIL did not converge, "he added.
Head of the Department for Studies of Middle East Conflicts of the Institute for Innovative Development Anton Mardasov recalled that Rakka played an important political, but also a military role in the caliphate. There, for example, Mardasov recalled, the center for training drone operators was located. For them, routes were laid. In the same place, the drones were provided with armament and finalized. But with the fall of Rakki the "Caliphate" reconciled a few months ago, when the city was blocked from the south, after that they could almost no longer supply ammunition to the city.
"But those who defended it, look like heroes from the point of view of Igilov propaganda. They for a long time resisted to the end, "Mardasov explained to the newspaper VZGLYAD.
The fact that the idea of the caliphate collapsed was recognized a few months ago. Then, the expert reminded, the late speaker of IGIL Al-Adnani issued a warning that with the fall of Rakki, Mosul and Sirte, "the struggle will not run out" and that the militants will go to the desert. "It's hard to surround the Islamists in the desert. They, for example, have a network of underground tunnels. This is shown by the recent new counter-attacks of the "Islamic state," Mardasov summed up.
It seems that the fate of the city itself will now be determined by the Kurds, who promise to include Rakka in the "Federation of Northern Syria" system, although the city is predominantly inhabited by the Arabs. According to the former Israeli ambassador to Moscow, former officer of the Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of Israel Zvi Magen:
"Now the armed forces of the Kurds are concentrated in the city, and they are serious. They will insist on their own interests. Kurds will somehow gain some autonomy. This can not be prevented. "
Magen supposes that now Russia will also develop the idea of the federalization of Syria. "Moscow quite accurately works with all the participants, external players. Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel - one way or another all have interests in Syria. Russia somehow understands this. And it is possible that it does it well, "Magen told VZGLYAD.
Recall, the fighters of IGIL captured Racco in March 2013, proclaiming it their capital. The offensive of the Syrian "moderate opposition" and Kurds to the city began a year ago. Support from the air was provided by a coalition led by the United States.
Накануне в ходе визита в Израиль министр обороны России Сергей Шойгу заявил, что операция в Сирии «близка к завершению». Во вторник сенатор Франц Клинцевич предположил, что российская группировка Сирии не будет сокращаться даже после окончания крупных боевых действий.
Also on Tuesday, it became known that Washington does not have a clear plan for further action in Syria after the liberation of Rakka. According to the NBC television channel, the Trump team is still arguing about this. Thus, hardliners, including the US permanent representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley, demand that they continue their attempts to overthrow Bashar Assad. The other wing sees in Assad the only person who will not allow Syria to turn into a "black hole that will absorb a significant part of the region."
However, both wings agree that it is not worth returning the east of Syria, including Rakku, under the control of Damascus.