Iraq/Syria Update–07Dec16

How soon our minds wander……

As an analyst of the Middle East I am ashamed of myself for allowing the silliness around the election and the after math to consume my thoughts…..I will try to make things right….today I will start a regular update on the situations in Iraq and Syria…and the region.

Iraq

As Iraqi security forces wage a grinding house-to-house battle to push the Islamic State out of Mosul, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is rushing to prepare for a potential mass exodus of up to 700,000 mainly Sunni civilians. But winter is closing in, funds are short, and the head of the UNHCR mission is worried that the international community and the Iraqi government could be overwhelmed by events, possibly setting the stage for renewed sectarian tension. – Foreign Policy’s The Cable

Iraqi army said on Wednesday that Islamic State militants launched an overnight attack against security forces in the southeastern part of Mosul, a day after the troops advanced deeper into the city. – Associated Press

Syria

Syrian government forces pushed deeper into Aleppo on Wednesday, seizing areas around the medieval citadel whose narrow streets had long given rebels cover, pro-government websites and conflict monitors reported. – New York Times

The United States is discussing with Syrian rebels their surrender and evacuation from Aleppo, as Russia on Tuesday threatened the imminent “elimination” of anyone who refuses to leave the city. – Washington Post

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he and his Russian counterpart will speak this week as a fierce bombing campaign backed by Moscow continues in Aleppo, fueling diplomatic arguments and straining prospects for talks. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

The House passed a defense bill last week that included language giving the incoming Trump administration the authority to send shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to rebel groups fighting in Syria. While the bill provides certain restrictions for transferring the controversial weapons, known as MANPADS or Man Portable Air Defense Systems, it represents a significant shift from prior iterations of the legislation. – Washington Post

Vladimir Putin is seizing on President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to reverse U.S. policy on Syria to press for a military victory that could mark Russia’s return as a great-power rival in the wider Middle East. – Bloomberg

Secretary of State John Kerry has resumed bilateral negotiations with Russia over the Syrian civil war, despite Russia’s refusal to make the policy changes that Kerry demanded when he canceled talks in October – Washington Examiner

Israel’s military attacked an airport in Damascus near Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s palace early on Wednesday morning, Arab media reported, in what appeared to be the second air strike by Israel inside Syrian territory in less than a week. – Financial Times

Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan write: Deterrence, by way of fait accompli, has worked so far. Explicit deterrence will work still better. At the end of the day, the choice is not whether the U.S. stays in Syria or leave, it is whether it stays or, eventually, is forced to come back. – The Daily Beast

I shall try to keep my readers updated as often as possible…..it is important because we have troops fighting and dying in these regions….but I am assuming that Americans actually give a crap……

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3 thoughts on “Iraq/Syria Update–07Dec16

  1. Every life lost because we fail as a country to find a compromise diplomatically or take action against a country for any other reason than true defense of the United States is a tragedy. If MSM had a spine, and showed the true horror of what is happening in Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East in general, I have a belief that Americans would be up in arms and protesting like they did in the past for Vietnam. War, or getting involved with wars we have no business being in, is senseless and should be the absolute LAST resort after everything else has been tried and failed.

    We shouldn’t become isolated from world events, but we can certainly make better decisions and truthfully discuss the consequences of our actions. We have to treat the United States government like a child and explain how our choices and actions have consequences; make the right one and you have positive consequences, make the wrong one and you have negative consequences. It’s so simple that it’s frustrating that it gets lost on almost everyone.

    1. The MSM has become the instrument of propaganda for the government…plus we have no shared experience….about 1% of the country is involved in these wars….so the effects of wat reaches only a small percentage and the rest just does not care….

  2. I think Bob Heinlein was one who noted that self-interest is the most powerful human motivator. The MSM, the government, the public, all are acting in ways to serve their own interests, usually at the expense of someone else’s. But, since the self is of primary importance, damage to others is not a factor in the decision making process…

    This has implications, from both directions of the issue. It makes those who act solely by their ego’s demands able to put aside any humanity to manipulate others without a qualm. It also makes those who do not realize their own vulnerability to be manipulated. by lies that give the appearance of fulfilling their desires, but actually do not…

    To avoid such lack of humanity, one must understand one’s own nature, and exert the self-control to make decisions using a wider, more human process, without necessarily giving up one’s own interests.

    But that takes courage, and self-responsibility, which very few these days either have, or even want.

    gigoid, the dubious

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