Syrian News Round-Up–16Dec16

There is not much in the news about the conflict in Syria with the exception of what is happening in the ancient city of Aleppo….there is more happeing than the MSM wants to report….

Syria

The latest effort to evacuate Syrian civilians and insurgent fighters from rebel-held neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo was bogged down Thursday morning, after one person was killed and several civilians and humanitarian aid workers were wounded while being transported to Red Cross ambulances, opposition figures said. – New York Times

The recapture of Aleppo by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces presents a stark example of Washington’s pullback in the Middle East at a time when Russia and its partners have stepped in to drive events in the nearly six-year conflict, said U.S., European and Arab officials. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

The U.S. will strike Islamic State in Palmyra if Russian and Syrian government forces fail to push back and retake the Syrian city, according to the top American commander in charge of the U.S.-led coalition targeting the extremist group. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

The starkly different outcomes of two pivotal battles—for Aleppo and Palmyra—showcased the priorities of the regime and its Russian and Iranian sponsors: to fight moderate Sunni rebels rather than the Sunni extremists of Islamic State. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Caught between rebels and government forces, the Syrian city of Aleppo has largely been cut off from the rest of the world in recent months. But this week, as Syrian forces advanced on rebel-held areas, residents took to social media to send pleas and heartbreaking farewells to a global audience. – Los Angeles Times

The top U.S. general for Syria and Iraq said Wednesday the U.S. will do nothing militarily or on a humanitarian basis to hinder the Russian and Syrian regime onslaught against Aleppo or ease the plight of civilians seeking to flee. – Military.com

The White House on Wednesday lashed out at critics who say it hasn’t done enough to prevent the fall of Aleppo, which could worsen a massive humanitarian crisis in Syria. – The Hill

A former NATO supreme allied commander is predicting that President Obama will regret not doing more to help the anti-regime opposition in Aleppo, Syria. – The Hill

The Islamic State group could now control sophisticated military equipment and weapons, including an air defense system, after recapturing the town of Palmyra from Russian and Syrian forces, the top U.S. general in charge of operations in Iraq and Syria said Wednesday. – Stars and Stripes

Adding 200 troops to the existing 300 would seem to bring the total Syria deployment to 500. But it doesn’t mean 200 operators are actually heading to the war zone. A Pentagon spokesman has acknowledged that Carter merely “authorized” a higher number of troops to deploy, without revealing the actual number of troops operating in the war zones. – Washington Examiner

Editorial: On Tuesday, Mr. Obama’s U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, delivered an impassioned denunciation of the Aleppo carnage, which she said would “join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later.” She excoriated the Assad regime, Russia and Iran but offered no acknowledgment that the stain of Aleppo extends also to her, the president and American honor. Those who will live with the long-term consequences of the Syrian catastrophe are unlikely to be so forgiving. – Washington Post 

(I have a problem with this speech by Power….she accuses Russia and Iran of the same things that we are doing in Yemen….a hypocritical look at the world is what we Americans are best at doing)

Frederic Hof writes: Once [Trump] has mastered the salient facts of the Syrian crisis, will he continue with policies and polemics in western Syria that embolden Russian adventurism in the region and beyond, facilitate the hegemonic designs of Iran, and help make the propaganda case for ISIS in Sunni Muslim communities around the world? These are the things the Obama administration has, quite unintentionally, succeeded in doing.  The United States can, under new management, do much better. – Defense News

(our new presidente has some thoughts about a plan for Syria and I will cover those in a post next week….(and that is called a teaser))

Hanin Ghaddar writes: This is not a civil war. Only when we stop calling it a civil war, we might be able to understand the history and strategy of the regime, the various layers of the Syrian people, the interests of those who are already intervening, and the significance of accountability. – Washington Post

That catches you up on the major ops on-going in Syria…..

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