Syria

Israel strikes Iranian base in Syria

Featured image Several Arab media sources have reported that twelve Iranian military personnel were killed in an Israeli air strike on an Iranian base in Syria Friday night. The Jerusalem Post has confirmed the strikes but apparently not the death count. Israel fired the missiles at a base Iran has been building near the Syrian city of ​​al-Qiswa (also spelled al-Kiswah) about 50 kilometers from the Golan Heights. Reportedly, the strike destroyed »

The battle for the lands of the caliphate

Featured image Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, argues that territories taken from the Islamic State (ISIS) must not be surrendered to the Islamic Republic (Iran). Such a surrender is almost certain unless President Trump acts to prevent it. The territory in question is in Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, which contains large oil and gas reserves and is adjacent to the Iraqi border. May warns that if Iran’s »

The race is on in Syria

Featured image Yesterday, U.S. backed forces seized control of Syria’s biggest oil field. They beat the Syrian government and its foreign allies to the al-Omar field in Deir al-Zour province, a former ISIS stronghold. The U.S. backed forces are Kurds and Arabs fighting under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They captured the oil field by charging 60 miles through the desert and launching a surprise attack against ISIS. The »

How Trump inadvertently helps al Qaeda in Syria

Featured image I’ve discussed how President Trump’s collaboration with Russia in Syria is helping Iran. Marc Thiessen shows that it is also inadvertently aiding al Qaeda. Thiessen cites the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (CTP). They find that “current U.S. strategy empowers al-Qaeda, which has an army in Syria, is preparing to replace ISIS,. . . [and] is more dangerous than ISIS.” How so? »

Defining American greatness down

Featured image You might think that a website called “American Greatness” would be concerned that the U.S. is “outsourcing security in Syria to the Russians” (to use the reported words of the Trump administration’s acting assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs). You might think that such a site would have qualms about the U.S. abandoning Syrian fighters that we armed, trained, and encouraged to fight against the pro-Iranian regime in »

Pompeo vs. Tillerson on Syria

Featured image At the Aspen Security Forum, the same conference Scott discussed here, CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed with clarity the situation the U.S. confronts in Syria. As Josh Rogin reports, Pompeo stated that we have two main enemies in Syria: ISIS and Iran. Our goals, in addition to finishing off ISIS in Syria, should be to stop Iran from establishing a zone of control that spans the region and “providing the »

Trump’s big concession to Putin

Featured image We know little, if anything, about what happened at the formal between President Trump and Vladimir Putin after Trump told the autocrat-thug that he was honored to meet him. We know nothing about what transpired at the dinner in Hamburg after Trump sought out Putin for further discussion. But now we know what Trump has done for Putin since they met in Germany. He has ended a CIA program in »

Fireworks for ISIS

Featured image The U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition struck the terrorist group 37 times on July 4. So reports the Daily Caller, citing a statement by Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). The majority of the strikes took place in Syria, in support of the Syrian Democratic Force’s (SDF) push on ISIS’s capital of Raqqa. They hit ISIS oil infrastructure, as well as 17 fighting positions in or near Raqqa. Backed by U.S. air strikes the »

The reason Russia wants us out of Syria is the reason we should stay

Featured image Over the weekend, a U.S. fighter jet downed a Syrian warplane after Bashir al-Assad’s troops attacked positions of U.S. backed forces fighting against ISIS. The confrontation took place near the one-time ISIS stronghold of Tabqa, not too far from Raqqa. Like the recent U.S. attack on a pro-Assad convoy in Southeastern Iraq, the downing of the Syrian jet should not be viewed as intervention intended to topple Assad, Rather, it »

Should the U.S. take decisive military action in south Syria?

Featured image Last week, U.S. planes attacked a pro-Assad convoy in southern Syria. The convoy had violated a restricted zone around a base where United States and British Special Forces train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. I wrote about the attack here, noting that the area in question is of strategic importance to Assad, Syrian rebels, Iran, Russia, and the U.S., and hence a likely future battleground quite apart from the fight »

U.S. planes hit pro-Assad military convoy

Featured image The New York Times reports that American warplanes in Syria attacked a pro-government convoy today, after it ignored warnings and violated a restricted zone around a base where United States and British Special Forces train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. American officials say that more than 20 vehicles drove within 18 miles of the al-Tanf base in southern Syria which houses the American and British Special Forces. This constituted a »

Israel strikes pro-Assad militia in Syria

Featured image The Israel Defense Forces struck a base controlled by a pro-Syrian government militia on Sunday killing three and wounding two others, according a statement by the militia — the Syrian National Defense Forces. This militia fights alongside the Syrian army in support of Assad. The Israeli attack occurred in the province Quneitra. Rebels hold portions of Quneitra; the army and pro-Assad forces control other portions. The Sunday attack by the »

Syria moves combat aircraft near to Russian base

Featured image CNN reports that the Syrian government has relocated the majority of its combat planes to protect them from potential U.S. strikes. CNN bases its report on comments by two U.S. defense officials. The aircraft in question reportedly were moved to an airfield close to a base where the majority of Russian air forces helping the Assad regime are located. The theory is that President Trump is unlikely to launch an »

Hypocrisy abounds on Trump’s attack on Syrian air base

Featured image In a terrific post called “The Power of Silence,” Scott noted that Samantha Power, once the leading advocate of military intervention to combat genocidal practices, had nothing to say in favor of President Trump’s use of force to combat Bashar al-Assad’s genocidal use of chemical weapons. Such partisan hypocrisy was not confined to the left, though. Sen. Marco Rubio led the justified praise of Trump’s one-time missile attack. However, when »

The Stars In Their Courses

Featured image In Syria, in Afghanistan, in North Korea, in Russia and Iran, the wheel is in spin. No one knows what will happen. Will President Trump’s suddenly assertive foreign policy be vindicated? I hope so. I agree with Charles Krauthammer that America is back, and with Paul that kicking the can down the road on North Korea–Obama’s foreign policy, when he wasn’t actively trying to undermine American interests–is no longer viable. »

The Power of silence

Featured image Samantha Power served as America’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 2013 until President Trump took office, but she made her name as the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2002 book A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. In the book Power indicted and convicted the United States of passivity in the face of genocide. The book is a polemical history. As a polemic, the book »

What is the Trump administration’s Syria policy?

Featured image I think I understand the Trump administration’s Syria policy. In western Syria, we will assist the forces fighting against ISIS; in eastern Syria, we will enforce former president Obama’s alleged red line on chemical weapons, but otherwise stay out of the fight. However, statements yesterday from top Trump administration officials make me wonder about the second prong of its Syria policy, thus understood. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the »