A week after recapturing the Syrian city of Palmyra from the ISIS’ terror group’s hold by the Syrian government’s forces during an operation that brought them closer to the city of Raqqa, the center of ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate, the Western media have reported, quoting the US officials, that Washington had decided to increase the number of its special forces in Syria, a move which appears to be in competition with efforts of the Syrian government as well as its allies to retake Raqqa city and other ISIS-held areas in Syria’s northeast from the grasp of the terrorist organization. Quoting an anonymous US official, the Reuters news agency’s reporter has said that the US was eyeing increasing its special forces in Syria. According to the American official, the aim of this step of Washington was to intensify moves against the militants of ISIS terror organization. Earlier, the US had sent about 50 of its special forces to Syria, who have been majorly stationed in the Kurdish-inhabited areas in northern Syria, and were tasked with supporting the Syrian Kurdish forces as well as what Washington calls moderate Syrian opposition rebels. The Reuters’ report has also added that the fresh forces’ duty would be training and backing, and so they would not directly take part in combat operations in the battlefields. The US’s decision to deploy additional special forces is coming a week after the Syrian government’s forces have managed, with a back-up from their allies, to reclaim the ancient city of Palmyra from the forces of the ISIS terrorist organization. With liberation of the ancient city, the Syrian army units have taken a step closer to the two eastern provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, which are majorly held by ISIS group. Right after liberating Palmyra, the Syrian army has released a statement, asserting that “the Syrian armed forces now would focus their anti-ISIS operations in eastern and northern Syria on the provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.” At the same time, the informed sources have said that the Syrian fighter jets have bombed a meeting of ISIS’ leaders at a former local government building in the capital of the terror group’s so-called caliphate Raqqa. Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, majorly desert cities, account for a large part of the Syrian territory, and controlling them means holding 90 percent of the country’s soil. The experts suggest that once the government’s forces take the two ISIS-held provinces back, they would challenge one of the US’ overarching objectives in Syria: Splitting the country into a couple of regions. Juan Cole, a West and South Asia analyst and professor of University of Michigan, has written that it is very likely the Syrian government was trying to recapture the two large eastern provinces from ISIS to make the case to the world that it was now controlling 90 percent of the country’s territory and thus talking about a federal system made no sense. The Americans have recently opened up the case of federalization of Syria which, according to many, is a prelude for partitioning the country. It looks that the Americans’ latest decision to send more special forces comes as a pre-emptive move to retake Raqqa in a bid to put their loyal forces on the ground ahead of Syrian government’s forces in pushing the terror group back from the ISIS-held provinces. Most significant US-backed forces which are set to launch offensives against ISIS are Kurdish. Talking to the journalists during his visit to Paris, Salih Muslim, the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), has said that the Kurdish forces were bracing for an assault for recapturing Raqqa in line with the (US-led) coalition. “I call for the Arab residents of Raqqa to join our (Kurdish) forces which are between 40,000 and 50,000 in number,” Muslim said. The Kurds have recently declared a federal region in northern Syria, which met with a Damascus’ opposition. On the other side, once the forces of the Syrian government could deal a blow to ISIS in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in the upcoming assaults, it could buy the Syrian government credibility as a major force fighting terrorism, an issue which would certainly not be favorable to the US and its allies. Michel Stevens, the chief of Royal United Studies Institute, has written on the BBC News website that Saudi Arabia as well as the UAE have pledged sending forces too Syria to defeat ISIS should the need arise, but the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad forces’ outmaneuvering them would be a clear signal for his plan in Syria. Such a result would be a painful defeat for the Persian Gulf Arab regimes, as it, on the other hand, would be a humiliation for the Western countries which are not interested in seeing President Assad remaining in power. Documents of Turkey’s support for ISIS The Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin, in a letter to the Security Council, has accused Ankara of providing the terrorist group in Syria with arms. Turkey sends the weapons to ISIS through the aid organizations’ convoys to Syria. Churkin in a letter to the members of the UN Security Council on March 18, has maintained that the Turkey was the major provider of weapons and other military equipment to ISIS terrorist group. “It is fulfilled with the help of non-governmental organizations,” the Russian UN envoy asserted. The letter accuses three non-governmental Turkish organizations of being commissioned by the Turkish intelligence services with sending a “variety of equipment” to the jihadists in Syria.