On November 5, Saturday, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford met with his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Akar, to allow the participation of the US-backed SDF forces (including Syrian-Kurdish YPG) to participate in seizing the city of Raqqa from Islamic State (Daesh) forces. However, SDF will not participate in holding the city.
ISW: Joseph Dunford met with his counterpart in Turkey on November 5 and reached an initial agreement to allow the Syrian Kurdish YPG to participate in the isolation phase of the offensive. In exchange, Sunni Arab fighters drawn from opposition groups, tribes, and other local forces will lead the final effort to “seize, hold, and govern” A-Raqqa City.
Jonathan Spyer: After the meeting, Dunford said that the US would work together with Turkey to develop a long term plan for ‘seizing, holding and governing’ the city. Dunford stated that the US considered the largely non-Arab SDF ‘wasn’t the solution’ for ‘holding and governing’ largely Sunni Arab Raqqa. A judicious reader will notice that Dunford’s statement doesn’t say that the SDF is unsuitable for the job of capturing the city, only for holding it afterwards.