Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
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Mustapaita
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RE: Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
Quote:The Complex State of Play in Eastern Syria

The territorial battle against ISIS is nearing its final stages in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, U.S. coalition-backed Iraqi forces have trapped the remaining ISIS defenders in one tiny pocket of Mosul, and in Syria, U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are pushing deep into the ISIS "capital" of Raqqa. However, as victory looms, new and perhaps more dangerous battles await. The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge spoke with Aron Lund, Fellow at the Century Foundation and expert on the dynamics of the Syrian war, to look at the various local and regional powers vying for influence in eastern Syria, and the risk of new conflict erupting in territories newly liberated from ISIS.

The Cipher Brief: What is the status of ISIS forces in Deir al Zour, and how important is the city to them?

Aron Lund: The city is divided between them and the Syrian government, and it has been since they came into that area in 2014 and took over. So they don’t really hold the city, they hold part of it, and they’ve tried to take it many many times. However, they have besieged government forces and cut them into two enclaves.

Deir al Zour is very important to ISIS, and the fact that they haven’t been able to take the city from [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is a problem for them, because it ties up a lot of forces, and it’s in the middle of their remaining territory. They also know that Assad is coming – probably soon – from Palmyra and other places to relieve his force in Deir al Zour. It’s just desert to the south of Deir al Zour, so an attack from that direction could come very quickly.

TCB: Are reports that Abu Bakr al Baghdadi – the leader of ISIS – and other commanders have moved to Deir al Zour correct?

Lund: I don’t think anyone knows. He could be there or in a basement in Baghdad. But it is probably true what U.S. intelligence says that they are seeing a lot of ISIS middle management leaving Raqqa for areas near Deir al Zour along the Euphrates river.

TCB: The assault on Raqqa has made significant advances since it started early this month, how do you see that assault unfolding? How does it compare to Mosul?

Lund: In Mosul, U.S. coalition and Iraqi army forces surrounded the city completely, but in Raqqa, there was still an opening to the south until very recently – so that makes things a bit different. But ISIS is still fighting very hard in the city, so we will have to wait and see what happens.

The Syrian government has also been trying to sneak around U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) held areas to the south in order to plug that southern road out of Raqqa and establish their own presence there.

The rest @ The Cipher Brief

"Devil, I am devil." ― Pekka Siitoin
2017 Jun 27 19:23
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RE: Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow

"Devil, I am devil." ― Pekka Siitoin
2017 Jul 20 11:39
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Temnozor
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RE: Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
(2017 Jul 20 11:39)Mustapaita Wrote:  Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow

I love that this was announced on the same day as McCain having terminal brain cancer. The "Assad must go" curse is real.

"Whoever says that he "belongs to his time" is only saying that he agrees with the largest number of fools at that moment." - Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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2017 Jul 20 20:12
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RE: Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham







"The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage."
Thucydides

“My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” Carl Schurz

"Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."
Aristotle

"Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must." Thucydides
2017 Jul 21 10:32
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Temnozor
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RE: Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
[Image: t5zswpnv.png]

"Whoever says that he "belongs to his time" is only saying that he agrees with the largest number of fools at that moment." - Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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2017 Jul 25 21:17
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RE: Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
(2017 Jul 25 21:17)Temnozor Wrote:  [Image: t5zswpnv.png]

Outdated tbqh


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"Devil, I am devil." ― Pekka Siitoin
2017 Jul 26 01:02
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RE: Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
The greatest moment of the remaining war will be the meeting of the Tiger and the Druze Beast at the gates of Deir ez-Zor when the 3-4 year siege is lifted.

Ya Bashar!


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"Devil, I am devil." ― Pekka Siitoin
2017 Jul 26 01:08
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RE: Civil War in Iraq and as-Sham
Aron Lund:

Quote:After months of speculation, Turkey has launched an intervention – with the help of rebels it supports – in northwestern Syria. But what exactly is Turkey hoping to do, and how will the jihadis who control the province react, not to mention the civilians who have taken shelter there?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to step into Idlib follows a mid-September agreement with Russia and Iran, as part of the Astana peace process, to turn Idlib into a “de-escalation zone”, instituting a renewable six-month ceasefire policed by Turkish, Russian, and Iranian military observers.

According to the deal reached in the latest Astana meeting Russian and Iranian troops will deploy in regions controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey will be responsible for the interior of the enclave, reportedly by eventually deploying around 500 monitors across the region.

Turkey has barely begun to put its own boots on the ground in its bid to enforce the agreement, which notably did not include the main rebel group in Idlib: the al-Qaeda offshoot Tahrir al-Sham, previously known as the Nusra Front. Instead, it is massing tanks on the border with Syria and throwing its weight behind non-jihadi factions, collectively known as the Free Syrian Army.

Even as the deal comes into force, the Astana nations view Syria very differently – Russia and Iran support al-Assad, while Turkey backs rebels fighting his regime. But they each have something to gain from a long-term ceasefire in Idlib, even if that quiet is first brought about by violence.

The rest:

https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2017/1...-need-know

"Devil, I am devil." ― Pekka Siitoin
2017 Oct 09 21:14
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