Sunday, June 25, 2017

Here We Go

The post-ISIL fight in Syria isn't waiting for the defeat of ISIL:

As the Islamic State is slowly being driven out of Syria, its enemies are scrabbling to pick up the territory it leaves behind. Syrian rebels, supported by the U.S.-led coalition, are facing off against the government of President Bashar al Assad, backed by Iran and Russia, to wrest control of the extremist group's remaining positions from its weakened grasp.

Iran has the highest motivation to take the territory on their side. Although how much of an excuse does Iran want to give America to go after Iran harder?

That's a tough balance to navigate.

Syria has long-term ambitions, as indicated by Syria's retention of two isolated eastern outposts.

But I think if not under Iranian dominance Assad would prefer to focus on the still-uncontrolled west before extending east.

Russia only wants the west where it has naval and air bases. It would prefer not to fight at all--let alone America--for eastern Syria.

Hezbollah as a beneficiary of an overland rote to Iran, will back Iran.

On the allied side, the Kurds have little stomach for fighting for southeastern Syria.

America and our allies have little stomach for direct large-scale combat. Can our fire support be enough for Sunni Syrian allies to replace ISIL and keep Iran out?

It is interesting, as I've noted.

UPDATE: Related thoughts.

UPDATE: Say, when did we get nuanced?

US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron agreed Tuesday on a joint response in the event of another chemical attack in Syria, as Washington warned Damascus would pay a "heavy price" for such a move.

America and France on the same page? This is going to hurt The Resistance. A lot.