Pentagon – and Daesh – Target Iran

CENTCOM commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel channeled his full Dr. Strangelove in front of the US House Armed Services Committee this past Wednesday. "We need to look at opportunities where we can disrupt [Iran] through military means or other means." As Orwellian as our times may be, this still ranks as a declaration of war. With the inbuilt consequence of smashing to bits … Continue reading Pentagon – and Daesh – Target Iran

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Gulmurod Khalimov (center), a well-known Islamic State commander who served as a high-ranking officer in Tajikistan’s OMON riot police before defecting in early 2015. Authorities in Tajikistan have presented a murky, muddled and contradictory public message — on the one hand warning of a clear and present danger of religious extremism, while also claiming that they are containing the challenge. (Video screenshot)

Tajikistan and Islamic State: Threat or Bogeyman?

Perhaps the greatest existential threat facing Tajikistan is posed by the Islamic State militant group, according to the government narrative. Or maybe not, some officials suggest. For the past few years, authorities in Tajikistan have presented a murky, muddled and contradictory public message — on the one hand warning of a clear and present danger … Continue reading Tajikistan and Islamic State: Threat or Bogeyman?

Dangerous Fracture in US, Turkey and Russian Interests, as Operation to Oust ISIS from Raqqa Begins

After six years of constant conflict between the great powers in and around Syria, the US, Russia and Turkish military leaders have gathered in Antalya, Turkey to discuss how best to coordinate their operation to drive the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham/Levant (ISIS/ISL) from Raqqa. Discussions also include operations in Iraq. Some are calling this summit … Continue reading Dangerous Fracture in US, Turkey and Russian Interests, as Operation to Oust ISIS from Raqqa Begins

© Khalil Ashawi / Reuters

Syrian Invasion: US Confirms Deployment of Hundreds of Marines to Fight ISIS

Hundreds of US Marines have arrived in Syria to establish an outpost in support of the operation to retake the city of Raqqa, the de-facto Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) capital in the country, the US-led coalition confirmed on Thursday. "We are talking about an additional 400 or so forces in total, and they will … Continue reading Syrian Invasion: US Confirms Deployment of Hundreds of Marines to Fight ISIS

Syrian Army Recaptures Palmyra, Aided by Russian Air Force – Kremlin

The Syrian military, backed by the Russian Air Force, has completed its operation to liberate the key city of Palmyra from militants, Kremlin has announced. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has reported to the commander-in-chief, President Vladimir Putin, that the historic city in Syria’s Homs province has been liberated, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. … Continue reading Syrian Army Recaptures Palmyra, Aided by Russian Air Force – Kremlin

Iraqi Army Makes Big Gains in Battle for Mosul

Iraqi military forces are advancing towards the main complex of government buildings in the centre of west Mosul, indicating that Isis is losing control of its last big urban stronghold in Iraq. “The provincial council and the governorate building are within the firing range of the rapid response forces,” said an officer with the elite … Continue reading Iraqi Army Makes Big Gains in Battle for Mosul

War at Any Cost: Israeli Special Forces Enter Syrian Territory to ‘Monitor’ Extremist Groups Fighting Assad

Another Israeli contribution to Syrian peace Israel's decision on Wednesday to fly over ISIS strongholds in Lebanon, and then drop bombs on Syrian Army positions in Syria, was a real stroke of genius — especially considering that the airstrikes came just before peace talks in Geneva were scheduled to begin. A real class act. Now … Continue reading War at Any Cost: Israeli Special Forces Enter Syrian Territory to ‘Monitor’ Extremist Groups Fighting Assad

Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor

“The re-conquest of western Mosul begins.” Or so several headlines in the Arab press have announced. And it’s true that the Iraqi army and its Shia militia allies and a few token soldiers from the US, Turkey, Britain and Kurdish forces have captured some small villages abandoned by Isis near the old Mosul airport. But … Continue reading Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor