Monday, May 11, 2015

Opening the Second Front?

As foreign nations exercise in Jordan, the Jordanians are shifting their focus from helping rebels fighting Assad to fighting ISIL. How large is Jordan's new commitment?

Jordan will focus on ISIL at the expense of supporting Southern Front rebels:

Alarmed by the strength of Islamist militants in the rebels’ ranks and their recent seizure of a critical Jordanian border crossing, officials here say their priorities have changed from unseating President Bashar al-Assad to taking the fight to jihadists, including the self-declared Islamic State.

Now Jordan wants to train thousands of tribal fighters in eastern Syria, potentially opening up a new front against IS, also known as ISIS. This strategy dovetails with the US-led campaign to defeat IS in Iraq and Syria, with Assad’s dictatorial regime as a lesser priority.

This explains Saudi Arabia's new cooperation with Turkey to support rebels. The Saudis lost their Jordan springboard to fight Assad and his Iranian masters.

I have to wonder if this is related:

Jordan has kicked off a two-week military exercise with some 10,000 participants from 18 countries, many members of a U.S.-led military coalition against the Islamic State group, which controls much of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

The kingdom is hosting the "Eager Lion" drill for the fifth year, but amid dramatically different circumstances.

I have to wonder because I think it would make immense military sense for Jordan to lead an offensive into Anbar from the west.

And having thousands of allied tribal fighters in eastern Syria and western Iraq would help intercept reinforcements heading from Syria to Iraq or intercept ISIL forces retreating from Iraq to Syria.

Iraq wants to focus on Anbar, and they announced a new Sunni tribal force for Anbar.

But those are just two sets of dots, and I'm filling in a lot of the picture with what I think should be done.