The US government has denied any involvement in last week’s clashes between Turkey-backed rebels and the pro-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). American officials have also expressed concern about the number of civilian fatalities, being caused by Turkish air strikes in northern Syria.
The Hashd and Federal Police were moving southwest of Mosul heading for the town of Tal Afar on the thirteenth day of the Mosul operation. That led to more inflammatory remarks by Turkey. There were also more executions by the Islamic State and displacement.
In the South-East of Aleppo, rebels predictable bogged down in positional battles in residential areas Western areas of the city. A small advance in the assumption of the district of al-Zahra and to the North of the Academy al-Assad is not the unblocking of Aleppo. Keeping the current trend in a few days, the militants have run out of steam, after which they will be methodically ground into dust with artillery and aircraft.
Three Russian submarines armed with cruise missiles joined a group of Russian warships led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. The submarines are heading to Syria, The Sunday Times wrote with references to naval sources.
According to the publication, the UK Royal Navy detected two “Akula” (“Shark”) class nuclear submarines and a “Kilo” class diesel-electric submarine as the subs were entering the North Atlantic from the direction of Russian naval bases in the Murmansk region.
What US leaders cannot do, however, is ignore over five years of incontrovertible evidence and risk yet another half-decade pretending Russian behavior in Syria and its regional and global effects will change if US policy in Syria does not.
This is it then. The battle for Mosul, which had first been announced (a bit hastily) by Iraqi government officials in mid-2015, has finally begun. An improbable alliance of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni tribesmen and Shia militias, some of them supported and trained by Western advisers, is now besieging IS’ Iraqi capital, with Coalition aircraft ruling the skies over Northern Iraq. Considering the various forces involved, there is not much doubt left over the outcome of the battle. The combined might of Western air forces and Special Ops, regular Iraqi units and various ethnic and sectarian militias will prevail against the armies of the Caliphate, at least what is left of them inside Mosul. Yet, the careful optimism displayed by many in the media could be proven wrong somehow, especially with regards to the prospects for long term survival of the “Islamic State”.
In this awful propaganda program, Gabriel Gatehouse speaks to Russian thinker and idealogue Aleksandr Dugin about ‘truth’, a new Cold War, and media control.