Late last week the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that they had started the final assault on Raqqa, the de facto capital of Daesh in Syria, after the evacuation of civilians and terrorists who agreed to leave the city. After a convoy of evacuees left the former Daesh stronghold, the final battle with remaining terrorists began, and forces led by the Kurdish YPG — who did the bulk of the fighting — soon announced the complete liberation of the city.
"This is the beginning of a very inspirational radical democratic project in the Middle East, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. It's a true revolution in every sense of the word," Campbell said during the Loud & Clear broadcast.
Kurdish activist and researcher Dastan Jasim told Radio Sputnik she finds it groundbreaking that the Kurdish struggle has extended to a struggle of all democratic and emancipatory powers in Syria.
"The significance [of the Kurdish forces' achievements] is that it's the first time in "the war on terror" — how it is being called in the US — that we really had self-mobilized groups from the Middle East that were able to fight terrorism and to get it done in a real ideological way, not only in a political or strategic way," Jasim said.
She admitted that the Kurds in Syria are grateful for the US military forces' logistical, air and operational support on the ground, even though the US is operating with neither the permission of, nor cooperation from, the government in Damascus, which makes its actions illegal under international law. But she pointed out that big changes in the region cannot be achieved by "killing some dictator" and emphasized the importance of the local grassroots movement growing fast on its own and the notion of democracy starting to take root.
"[The US] can't parachute a political system into the Middle East. That clearly didn't work out in Iraq, and it won't work out in Syria," Jasim stressed, adding that the important part of the "revolution" is its entirely different approach to the very concept of liberation. This revolution is not about imposing a new regime, but about working with people, understanding and representing their interests.
Raqqa has been under Daesh's control since 2013. In November 2016, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, also consisting of Arab, Assyrian and Turkmen fighters, among others, announced the start of the military operation to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from Daesh with the assistance of the US-led coalition's airstrikes. Raqqa's Old City was freed from Daesh last month.