In recent days the Department of Defense has announced a largely PR-driven “offensive” against the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria. The reality is that the local forces, the Kurdish YPG militia, is nowhere near ready to take Raqqa as they have other pressing concerns in Jarabulus. Kurdish guerrillas also have bigger problems to worry about as violence between the Kurds, including the PKK and various youth groups, has flared up with the Turkish military.
Whatever the case, it is amazing how asleep at the wheel most Americans are when it comes to what their soldiers are doing in Syria. Keep in mind that it isn’t any secret that US Special Forces are in country, the White House has been very transparent that 50, and later 250, SOF personnel were being deployed there to assist the YPG in their fight against ISIS. These facts have been well reported here at SOFREP and by major media outlets the world over.
And somehow, when pictures emerged of US Special Forces soldiers working alongside the YPG 20-40 kilometers outside of Raqqa, some are acting shocked and even offended. Charles Lister, a fellow at the Middle East Institute, wrote that it was quite remarkable to see American Special Forces advisors on the front lines wearing YPG patches. Four or five years behind the power curve, he also points out that the YPG is an affiliate of the PKK, which is on America’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
Michael Weiss, who authored a book about ISIS, notes that the YPG patch has similarities to the PKK patch. I guess he is unaware of the CIA’s on again, off again relationship with the PKK going back decades. Another academic named Emile Hokayem described the Green Berets wearing YPG patches as, “politically tone deaf.”