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Two Major Challenges Damascus Faces in Syrian War

© REUTERS / Omar SanadikiA Syrian national flag hangs in a damaged neighbourhood in Aleppo, Syria
A Syrian national flag hangs in a damaged neighbourhood in Aleppo, Syria - Sputnik International
Damascus is currently facing two serious challenges - fighting terrorism and countering attempts to divide the country, Syrian lawmaker Khaled al Abud told Sputnik.

A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) looks at a smoke after an coalition airstrike in Raqqa, Syria June 16, 2017 - Sputnik International
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He underscored that any division of national unity contradicts the principles of the Syrian Constitution. Currently, the Syrian government is trying to do its best to unite all of the country’s ethnic minorities and political movements. 

According to al Abud, the country has been ravaged by war for several years, and currently foreign-backed attempts to divide Syria are on the rise. 

"Now, the United States-led coalition and its allies are all focused on Raqqa due to several reasons. After the Americans gave up their plan of establishing controlled chaos in Syria they turned to the image of liberators and fighters with terrorism. During his campaign, [US President Donald] Trump accused the former administration of pandering to terrorists," the lawmaker told Sputnik Arabic

He noted that Trump’s policy in Syria is different from that of the Barack Obama administration. 

"A victory in Raqqa will help Trump increase his domestic ratings. Moreover, Washington needs a victory in Raqqa as a counterbalance for Russia’s influence in the region," al Abud said.

According to the lawmaker, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) delegated powers in Raqqa to the US. The SDF has also established a civic council in Raqqa, which is expected to rule the city after Daesh is completely defeated. 

Following indications from US Defense Secretary Ash Carter earlier this week, President Barack Obama confirmed on Friday that the Pentagon would deploy between 20 and 50 “advisers” to combat the self-proclaimed Islamic State terror group in Syria. - Sputnik International
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At the same time, al Abud warned that there is the risk that the SDF will become a "bargaining chip" in the American plan to take control over certain parts of Syria. 

In an earlier interview with Radio Sputnik, Andrei Koshkin, a military analyst and head of the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Russian Plekhanov Economic University, suggested that after the defeat of Daesh, the US military plans to take control over a part of Syria’s territory. 

"Apparently, now we can say that the so-called Islamic State [Daesh] is nearing its end. Raqqa and Mosul is yet to be liberated, but now it is already necessary to take control over the regions previously seized by militants. Possibly, the Pentagon wants to intensify its efforts at this crucial moment," Koshkin said.

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