Syria

Trump Blasts Syrian Base

Featured image President Trump has ordered a Tomahawk missile attack on the Syrian air base from which it is believed that a chemical weapons attack was launched against Syrian civilians: The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield in response to what it believes was the Syrian government’s use of banned chemical weapons blamed for having killed at least 100 people on Tuesday, U.S. military officials »

“Beyond a red line”

Featured image Asked yesterday by AP reporter Julie Pace about Syrian President Assad’s sarin gas attacks on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday, President Trump responded: “It crossed a lot of lines for me. When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. Many, »

President Trump, King Abdullah, and the Syrian Refugees

Featured image Jordan’s King Abdullah has been at the White House meeting with President Trump. Today Trump and Abdullah did a joint press conference in the Rose Garden. News coverage has focused mainly on Trump’s outraged response to Assad’s chemical gas attack in Syria, and whether it will lead to military action by the U.S. That could develop into a major story, particularly after U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley confronted Russian officials at »

Will Raqqa fall in 2017?

Featured image Raqqa is headquarters for ISIS’ shrinking caliphate. It is where the ISIS terrorists say they planned major attacks on Paris and Brussels, and where new attacks against the West undoubtedly are being hatched. The fall of Raqqa wouldn’t mean the end of the threat ISIS poses. Due to the Obama administration’s obliviousness and indifference, ISIS had time to spread its tentacles and its influence. Nonetheless, expulsion from its seat power »

WaPo: Aleppo bloodbath will indelibly stain Obama’s legacy

Featured image The Washington Post’s board of editors rip into President Obama for his failed Syria policy that helped produce the horrors of Aleppo. Here is how the Post describes the situation on the ground: The battle for Aleppo is ending in catastrophe, both for the tens of thousands of people who have been besieged there and for the future of Syria. On Wednesday, Syrian government and Iranian-led Shiite militia forces renewed »

Operation to retake Raqqa begins

Featured image ISIS is now under attack in both its Iraqi and Syrian strongholds: The operation has begun to retake Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State — and it’s a Kurdish woman commanding the Syrian Democratic Forces who could take the city that brings down the caliphate. The operation called Wrath of Euphrates launched Saturday night and was announced by the SDF alliance today at a press conference in the Syrian »

Apocalypse some other time

Featured image Dabiq is the Syrian village that ISIS promised would be the scene of an apocalyptic showdown, an Armageddon, in which Muslims would win a great battle against the infidels, consisting of 80 nations each ten thousand strong. But recently, as I noted here, ISIS had to abandon Dabiq under pressure from Free Syrian rebels backed by Turkish and U.S. air power. ISIS’s occupation ended not with an apocalypse, but a »

Assault on Mosul begins, presaging another defeat for ISIS

Featured image Iraqi forces have commenced an offensive to retake the city of Mosul, ISIS’s last main stronghold in Iraq. According to the Washington Post, the battle will be waged by tens of thousands of Iraqi troops, perhaps as many as 80,000. The forces will consist of Kurdish peshmerga soldiers, Sunni tribal fighters, army, police, Shiite militias, and elite counterterrorism units. The U.S. will back their effort with air support and “advisers” »

John Kerry threatens the Russians

Featured image Secretary of State John Kerry has threatened to stop talking with the Russians if they and their Syrian ally don’t quit bombing Aleppo. So New York Times reporter Michael Gordon lets on at the top of his story “Syria talks will end if Aleppo bombing continues, U.S. tells Russia.” Adam Entous and Felicia Schwartz add some details in their Wall Street Journal story “Obama administration threatens to suspend talks with »

Obama’s Syria policy explained

Featured image In writing about the pathetic efforts of John Kerry to arrange a cease fire in Syria, I’ve referred to the Secretary of State as the village idiot. But what about President Obama? Though his intellect may be overrated, he’s anything but an idiot. Obama is, instead, a clever operator who often thinks several moves ahead of his domestic, though not his foreign, adversaries. Why, then, has U.S. policy paved the »

Aleppo hammered, Kerry’s “cease-fire” agreement notwithstanding

Featured image John Kerry’s Syria “cease fire” agreement was a farce from its inception. Even optimists of ordinary intelligence realized it was dead when a Russian (or conceivably a Syrian) jet attacked a U.N. convoy near Aleppo earlier this week and Syria declared the agreement over. But John Kerry insisted otherwise. He declared that the agreement is “not dead,” and called for more talks with Russia. Kerry got more talks; Aleppo got »

More Obama-Kerry disgrace in Syria

Featured image John Kerry’s latest “cease fire” agreement in Syria was a farce from its inception. Farce turned to tragedy on Monday when a Russian (or conceivably a Syrian) jet attacked a U.N. convoy near Aleppo. Aid workers say that trucks carrying desperately needed aid to the rebel-held side of the city were repeatedly bombed, as was a warehouse. At least 20 people were killed. Pursuant to the “cease fire” arrangement, notification »

Syria “cease fire” already violated

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about the farcical Syria cease fire negotiated by John Kerry with Russia. If I had waited a few hours, I would have learned that the agreement, which went into effect yesterday, was immediately violated. According to the Washington Post: Residents and activists of the besieged rebel portion of Aleppo said that Syrian government helicopters had dropped barrel bombs on one neighborhood of the city and that loyalist »

Good grief, John Kerry — Part Two

Featured image After months of negotiating with Russia, John Kerry has obtained a “cease fire” agreement in Syria. The Washington Post characterizes the agreement as “the renewal of a cease-fire,” which tells you all you need to know about the value of this deal. Like its predecessors, this agreement was made to be broken as far as Russia is concerned. Even significant portions of the Obama administration appear not to believe in »

Good grief, John Kerry

Featured image President Obama has become a laughingstock in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and wherever else serious people are paying attention. But it is John Kerry, one suspects, who draws the biggest guffaws. Consider the Syria deal Kerry, with White House approval, presented to Russia in July. According to the Washington Post the proposal was this: the U.S. would share intelligence and coordinate its bombing of terrorists targets with Russia and Russia would »

Turkey moves against our Kurdish allies; U.S. sides with Turks

Featured image This past week, Turkey entered the fight in Syria against ISIS to much ballyhoo from the mainstream media. But according to Christoper Caldwell, who quotes the German weekly Der Spiegel, “ISIS is a pretext, the Kurds are the target.” Says Caldwell, Turkey’s strategic objective is not to “crush” ISIS. It is to crush the most effective part of the anti-ISIS coalition: the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection »

Aleppo update

Featured image In early August, I wrote about the apparent break through by Syrian rebels in Aleppo. Before the war, Aleppo was Syria’s economic hub and a cultural treasure. Since 2012, it has been divided between regime forces and opposition fighters. It became the Syrian rebels’ last urban stronghold and, as such, the target of a siege by the Assad regime and Hezbollah forces supported, crucially, by Russian air power. A few »