The news out of the Middle East is always taking a back seat to the antics of politicians and celebs…..but regardless how much we try it is impossible to ignore the big battles taking place…..
First, the one that is making all the news so far….Aleppo, Syria.
It appears as if the battle for Syria’s largest city is about to draw to a close….if so….what is next for the city?
What are the immediate implications of the regime’s victory in Aleppo?
Aleppo illustrates the bleak state of the Syrian war, more than five years into the conflict. The regime and its allies are defeating rebel groups by employing an expanded version of their long-favoured military approach: massive collective punishment, including siege tactics and relentless bombardment targeting civilians. With crucial support from Russian air power and Iran-backed foreign fighters, this set of tactics has enabled the regime to compensate, for now at least, for its eroding military and limited base of reliable Syrian fighters.
The next major battle is in Iraq….in and around the city of Mosul….first reports were that the Iraqi army and its militia allies were making great headway against the forces if ISIS…..but those glowing reports have ceased….why?
Since the battle to retake Mosul began in mid-October, Iraqi and coalition spokesmen have touted the significant number of villages retaken around the periphery of Mosul by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and the fact that they reportedly recaptured Mosul’s al-Salam hospital, barely a mile from the Tigris. Yet an examination of the battlefield reveals that from the perspective of ISIS, it could be argued that the fight is going better than expected. Such a belief is not without substance.
Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi claimed last week that he was very pleased with his troops’ progress. “We have seen the whole organization collapsing in terms of standing in the face of our own armed forces,” he said, adding that the “success of liberating a huge area indicates that Daesh does not have the gut[s]” to stand and fight. Yet the number of villages and square kilometers of land retaken tells only part of the story, and may be deceptive by itself.
These are the foreign policy situations that Trump and his gang will be dealing with….does anyone see a light at the end of this tunnel?