From Reuters: A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a gathering of jihadist rebels near the rebel-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on Wednesday, killing and injuring scores, rebel sources said. They said the blast ripped a textile factory where members of Hayat Tahrir al Sham, an alliance of rebel groups whose … Continue reading ISIS vs. Al-Qaeda Infighting In Idlib Province In Syria Is A Sign of Things To Come
Bashar al-Assad hadn't had control of his Iraqi frontier for years. It's a major headache; it's allowed Sunni rebels to supply themselves from Anbar, a favorable route for Gulf states hoping to keep the war going. It's also allowed the Islamic State to slide supplies from its shrinking Iraqi domains to its shrunken Syrian ones. … Continue reading Assad’s Big Push To Recover His Eastern Border
"I am waiting to die or be captured." That is the farewell message of one of the handful of remaining anti-Assad activists in Aleppo. As the Assad regime now triumphs a murderous, four year long victory, the question of what comes next must be asked. Syria is a ruined country. It was a state imposed … Continue reading Aleppo has fallen. Now what?
The numbers are staggering: up to 250,000-320,000 dead, 7.6 million refugees internally, 4 million more over the border, for a total of around 11.6 million people displaced. That's from a total population of around 18 million. In other words, almost 2 out of every 3 Syrians has either been killed or has fled from their … Continue reading What Must Happen Before the Syrian Civil War Ends
For those who have heard but don't really know, here's the what what of Syria's nasty civil war.
It's been over a week. That's the appropriate time to draw lessons, right? Alright, let's make a quick run down of the situation. Without warning, Putin offered something approaching a good idea He did this to save Assad from an impending military strike (which despite Congressional resistance would probably have happened even without approval) and … Continue reading What We Think We’ve Learned From Syria
With the recent flurry over who's winning and who's losing in this whole Syrian disarmament thing, I found it a useful exercise to take a step back and focus on the bigger trends. A lot of people are calling this a win for Putin and a loss for Obama, with some going so far as … Continue reading Even Bad Leaders Have a Tough Time Destroying Strong Nations
It is, in many ways, elementary. Bigger is better, stronger, and more able to survive punishment. The smaller something becomes, the more fragile it is. A lot of fretting is going into the long-term effects of an air assault on Syria. Most of it centers on how Americans feel about themselves following eight long years … Continue reading Even a Small Attack in Syria Could Tip The Scales (Because Small Guys Get Knocked Over Easier)
Thus begins the Great Hand-Wringing. The United Kingdom's out; Congress is demanding the president explain himself; everyone wants to wait on the UN weapons inspectors before making a decision. It's all quite understandable, considering, well, this. But holding back won't save anyone. Here's why. This is not Iraq in 2003, for God's sake Everyone likes … Continue reading Bombing Syria Now Will Save Lives Later
Sometimes, it's good enough just to survive. Saddam Hussein decided to trumpet his "victory" over Iran by building a massive pair of arches in central Baghdad. Not being dead or out of power was a big win considering that Saddam had bit off much more than he could chew by invading his larger and stronger … Continue reading Put Assad Down for the Win (If you can call it that)