The SDF attacking Marea, the (2-year long) rebel FRONTLINE against ISIS, is again proof that what is happening in Aleppo is far, far more cynical than is being generally understood/covered, AND is internationally decided (the SDF would never do this if they didn’t have American acquiescence), AND represents the most clear-cut example of the fatal attempt to end the revolution through the gateway of Aleppo. We are used to the regime attacking the rebels simultaneously with ISIS, but for the YPG/SDF to do so as well should send a signal that there is a clear decision to get rid of the rebels first, before ISIS.
The SDF it should be remembered was an organisation set up by the US specifically as an alternative “rebel” force (having failed to turn the FSA into purely anti-ISIS “sahwas”) that it could sponsor. Its function was to replace any rebellious alternative to Assad (i.e. the Syrian revolutionary forces led by the FSA) with a force/face that is not Assad, officially criticises Assad, but also does not fight Assad and coordinates with his forces (in short exactly mirroring US policy). This force also accepts the retention of the Syrian regime/state institutions (declared US policy) – the SDF political programme doesn’t even make a mention of the Assad regime. In short, the US is sponsoring a “rebel” force that does not take part in the rebellion.
The YPG/SDF it should be noted said a few months ago that they would attack rebel factions that do not accept a US-Russian imposed “political solution” – this is essentially what is happening now even before any political solution has been proposed, probably because it appears clearer and clearer that Assad will simply not agree to resign, and so the only way the US could save face is if Aleppo falls beforehand, sparing them the embarrassment. If Free Aleppo falls, the rebellion likely falls with it. That *directly* US-armed (Iraqi Shia and Kurdish YPG) militias are playing the *leading* role in this AND that this knowledge is completely unreported is horrific.
This is because the US, in case it still isn’t clear 5 years later, prefers the regime remaining – *even* with the figure of Assad at its helm – to a successful rebellion. Amongst everything else this was clear by the complete lack of US support for the Syrian revolutionary forces (the first in Syria to fight ISIS) in their fight *even against ISIS*, especially in the same city of Marea – where Aleppo’s revolutionaries have kept the city out of the hands of ISIS for the past 2 years without any American support (despite requests ignored by the Americans), simply because they have the popular base.
The US knows full well that if the rebels lose Aleppo there will be no one who fills the (very angry Sunni) void other than ISIS, the various foreign Shia militias and the YPG may come in and hold these areas for the very short term after taking them from the rebels but they will never be able to stop ISIS eventually storming in (to a place where tens of thousands who have lost people to the regime will prefer the devil themselves coming in before surrendering to the regime). If Aleppo’s revolutionary resistance falls ISIS will come in, this is almost a certainty. So why is the US agreeing to this? It is agreeing to this in order to eventually have the total war option that it has been using in Iraq (where it was not burdened by a reluctant mandated support of an uprising) of enforcing the regime’s remaining (in light of the then failed rebellion).
US policy in Iraq can be seen as deeply cynical or highly ignorant. Yet the fact that the US is supporting the precise forces whose abuses (now multiple-fold) Iraqi Sunnis rose up against in 2011 (the forgotten Iraqi Spring), knowing full well that ISIS will never be defeated except by Iraqi Sunnis (having had this experience already with ISIS’s precursor, ISI, when the entire might of the US Army could not defeat it – only when Sunni support was requested was it driven underground within a few months) – means that to think that the US does not know that ISIS cannot be defeated without Sunni support is probably naive to unreasonable limits. It means that the US is using the War on Terror again not to defeat terror, but to ensure subjugation of peoples by another set of people who they don’t want subjugating them (even if US occupation forces are not on the ground). Why else would the US be supporting the sort of militias in Iraq that are committing the current sectarian cleansing (the biggest fuel for ISIS) instead of recruiting Sunni support to deal with this, the only policy established to have worked? But its not about defeating ISIS, its about *defeating the people who showed resistance*. In this case, defeating them through allying them with their biggest enemies, their biggest nightmares, the militias which go into their areas and burn them down to the ground. This is imperialism. Imperialism is torture. If you dare reject our authority, we will send you your biggest nightmare to punish you. To give in to the logical option would be the defeat of imperialism, which is defined by generally doing the *opposite* of what the people under control want. And this is one of the biggest mistakes in analyses of Iraq and Syria – the assumption that the US just wants ISIS defeated – no, the US wants ISIS defeated in the most humiliating, brutal of ways – and the people of those areas completely subjugated and humiliated.