The June/July 2017 issue of the CTC Sentinel, published by the U.S. Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), features the battle in Iraq’s Mosul and Syria’s Raqqah against the Daesh terrorist organization.
“A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, observes smoke rising in the al-Meshleb neighborhood of Raqqa, Syria, on June 7, 2017, as the SDF attempt to advance further into the Islamic State bastion,” reads the cover photo caption, using another name for Daesh.
CTC Sentinel’s editorial board is led by current U.S. military officials Col. Suzanne Nielsen and Lt. Col. Bryan Price.
The current issue of the magazine also published an exclusive interview of Lt. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, director in Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counterterrorism Center and former commander of the Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), a sub-unified command of CENTCOM.
More than two-thirds of SDF members include the PYD/YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK which is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.
The SDF militants were immersed in the ideology espoused by Ocalan, the PKK’s leader who was caught and jailed in Turkey in 1999.
The PKK group has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, during which more than 40,000 people have lost their lives.
The outlawed terror group is also involved in illicit drug production, manufacture, and trafficking.
The U.S. views SDF as a "reliable partner" on the ground in Syria in its fight against Daesh in Raqqa and continues providing arms support, but Turkey strongly opposes the move.