The U.S. government is not picky when finding allies to fight its regime change wars. From Aaron Maté at realclearinvestigations.com:
Hours after the Feb. 3 U.S. military raid in northern Syria that left the leader of ISIS and multiple family members dead, President Biden delivered a triumphant White House address.
The late-night Special Forces operation in Syria’s Idlib province, Biden proclaimed, was a “testament to America’s reach and capability to take out terrorist threats no matter where they hide around the world.”
Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi: Before he was killed by U.S. forces in February the ISIS leader operated from an Al Qaeda safe haven in Syria.
Unmentioned by the president, and virtually all media accounts of the assassination, was the critical role that top members of his administration played during the Obama years in creating the Al Qaeda-controlled hideout where ISIS head Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi, as well as his slain predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, found their final refuge.
The Syrian government is moving against the largest remaining jihadist stronghold. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
The Syrian Army unleashed a major assault across the southeastern part of Idlib province on Saturday, a military source told Middle East news site Al-Masdar in a breaking report. According to the source, government forces pounded jihadist defenses across the southeast Idlib axis with a plethora of artillery shells and surface-to-surface missiles.
This latest exchange between the Syrian military and jihadist rebels comes as the Sochi Agreement falls apart in northwestern Syria, and in response to a Friday attack by jihadists which killed 22 Syrian soldiers near a planned buffer zone around the country’s last major anti-Assad and al-Qaeda held region. The jihadist strikes resulted in the highest number of casualties for the army since the Sochi Agreement was established on September 17th.
Though the Syrian war has grown cold in terms of international spotlight and media interest since September, it is likely again going to ramp up dramatically over the next few months.
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It’s hard to believe the CIA won’t undermine this one. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
In what may be one of the most significant foreign policy decisions of his first year in office, Trump is shutting down the CIA’s covert program to arm rebels fighting the Syrian government. This would constitute a monumental shift in terms of US priorities in Syria which throughout most of the 6-year long war have focused on removing Bashar al-Assad. The Washington Post reports:
Officials said Trump made the decision to scrap the CIA program nearly a month ago, after an Oval Office meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster ahead of a July 7 meeting in Germany with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The move is consistent with signals coming out of the White House over the past months, as well as in keeping with Trump’s early campaign promises that he would seek to wind down the war in Syria by making ISIS the only objective, and not the removal of Assad. There have been additional hints at willingness to work closer with Russia in a strategic anti-terror partnership in Syria. Secretary of State Tillerson’s said in an April interview with ABC News, as well several weeks ago, that Assad’s fate would be up for the Syrian people to decide, adding that:
In that regard, we are hopeful that we can work with Russia and use their influence to achieve areas of stabilization throughout Syria and create the conditions for a political process through Geneva in which we can engage all of the parties on the way forward, and it is through that political process that we believe the Syrian people will lawfully be able to decide the fate of Bashar al-Assad.