BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:45 P.M.) – As the battle for the city of Raqqa enters its sixth week, Kurdish advance units of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), despite having claimed control over roughly 40 percent of the urban centre, still continue to encounter fanatical ISIS resistance that shows no signs of letting up.
Through an intricate network of tunnels and predetermined ambush points based throughout the city, ISIS continues to shuffle small raiding parties that wait-out punishing US airstrikes and then spring-up to quickly chip away at advancing Kurdish ranks.
Furthermore, combining this tactic with GoPro camera footage also serves to have priceless propaganda value for the terrorist group and to this effect the ISIS-linked Amaq news group has, as of yesterday, released point-of-view and third-person photos of Islamic State fighters carrying out such hit-and-run attacks.
In the same way such video-recorded engagements by ISIS fighters continue to provide the Islamic State’s media outlets with the ability to project a sense of control over a battle which it will ultimately lose, so to does the systematic reduction of Raqqa city by US airpower and Kurdish artillery provide the terrorist organisation with the sympathy propaganda it requires to radicalise sunni Muslims and thus ensure a future pool of jihadist recruits from which it can draw on.
However, unlike the former-mentioned type of propaganda that presents a fantasy, the latter-mentioned propaganda actually represents the truth of the matter – regardless of what sinister end it is used for.
This is where the United States, since as early as 2001, has consistently failed to recognise the error of its approach in the Middle East whereby it always turns – directly or indirectly – one given demographic (be it ethnic or sectarian) against the all other demographics within a country it chooses to intervene.