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US 'Urgently' Plans Raqqa, Syria Battle, But Who Will Be Fighting?

U.S. "Urgently" Plans Raqqa, Syria Battle, But Who Will be Fighting?
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by political analyst Pepe Escobar to discuss U.S. plans for a military operation to seize Raqqa, the proclaimed capital of Daesh in Syria.

The United States has announced it will commence with an operation to take Raqqa before the end of the battle to retake Mosul in Iraq. However, confusion exists over who the ground forces will be that the U.S. will give air support to as the coalition struggles to train Arab militias capable of fighting in the battle. Turkey wants in on the operation, but their Kurdish adversaries are likely to also be involved. Is the U.S. acting with haste in Syria?

Iceland’s parliamentary elections take place on Saturday with a relatively new political force called the Pirate Party expected to do well or even win. The party wants to grant Edward Snowden citizenship and advocates a platform of direct democracy. Becker is joined by one of the Party's candidates in the coming election Oktavia Hrund, as well as by José Tirado, a Puerto Rican poet and political writer living in Iceland.

As Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen that was launched in March 2015 continues to drag on, western countries continue to sell the Saudi government arms despite the pleas of human rights organizations. Are the goals of Saudi Arabia in Yemen the same as those of the United States and the UK? What does the conflict in Yemen mean for the wider region and the world? Catherine Shakdam, author and political commentator, joins Becker to talk about these issues which are discussed her new book entitled "A Tale Of Grand Resistance – Yemen, the Wahhabi, and the House of Saud."

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