If there was ever a “nation” in the ordinary meaning comprising the Islamic State it is unquestionably moribund. The area reportedly controlled by the terrorist organization remains for the time down to one square kilometer, according to some reports less than six hundred meters square in Baghuz.
What actually has so far saved the jihadists from annihilation was that they interspersed themselves among civilian human-shields while Kurdish forces and allies exercise pause to protect the innocent. Thus remains the glory of the Caliphate, hiding among women and children to save itself.
Yesterday, Anti-ISIS Kurdish Militia Spokesman Nuri Mahmud issued an official statement countering what the Syrian Democratic Forces coalition describe as falsehoods spread by the Turkish Government to establish a pre-text toward invasion of Kurdish areas of Syria.
Turkey Regards the YPG (People’s Protection Units) of having ties with and providing support to the PKK, which Turkey and the United States consider a Terrorist Organization.
The YPG/YPJ and SDF is in alliance with U.S. Coalition forces to eliminate the ISIS threat in Syria and have in all regards been the foundation for the terrorist organization’s upcoming defeat as a military force in Syria.
Kurdish Democratic Forces in Syria report the arrest of two Americans allegedly fighting with or aiding the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria. The two men are identified as Warren Christopher Clark, 34, of Texas and Zaid Abed al-Hamed, 35.
They were captured by the Kurds during a counter-terrorism raid near the Iraq border in the vicinity of one of the few remaining holds of ISIS in Syria. Prior to their capture, the two, along with a Pakistani National and a male reportedly from Ireland, were preparing an attack against civilians fleeing the battlefields.
In an interview with AFP, Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces Senior Commander and Spokesman Redur Khalil stated “Reaching a solution between the autonomous [Kurdish] administration and the Syrian government is inevitable because our areas are part of Syria.”
The interview occurred shortly after United States President Donald Trump announced the upcoming withdrawal of American forces from Syria.
The statement might come as a surprise to many given the long and bloody civil war facing all of Syrian society, it does beg the question of whether it is the result of the realpolitik forced on the Kurds by Presidents Trump and Erdogan.
After six years of closure due to the conflict of civil War, the Syrian Arab Republic’s Ministry of Culture announced the reopening of its national museum. The institution presents welcomed news not only in a sign of normalization within civilian life in Damascus, but a reversal of years of wanton destruction by iconoclastic jihadists and thefts by opportunists claiming spoils of war.
This past Sunday featured a symposium hosted by internationally recognized archaeologists and the arrangement of showcases presented to the general public. The re-opening followed a years long campaign against ISIS and other jihadists plaguing the vicinity of the capital.
The realpolitik in the Levant changed significantly upon the entry of the Russian Government into the foray. Russia announced recently it would assist the Assad Government in Syria as well as Kurdish forces in fighting what it perceives to be a mutual threat to Russia by ISIS. It has interest in maintaining the Assad government, which has long established ties with Moscow. In the past weeks the Russian military established operational bases in Syria and began a heavy program in supplying material and personnel.
Now, the Russian leadership announced it was working on providing weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting ISIS through the Iraq Government. This shows a clear departure from the politics in the region where the focus was upon the United States to provide the Iraqis with defense abilities. Yet, this has proven to be ineffective due to the rapid expeditionary campaign launched against the people and government of Iraq by ISIS. It was almost an embarrassment when the United States surprised the world with the announcement of ISIS’ threat after it was six months into its war effort against Iraq and Syria and went so far as to claim that despite the loss of 25% of Iraq’s territory and ISIS forces advancing within several dozen miles of Iraq’s capital, the situation was under control and was not an existential threat to the nation.
Now, in the vacuum of a serious effort on behalf of the west to address the ISIS problem, other than airstrikes and millions of dollars recruiting and training a handful of Syrian volunteers, Russia is emerging to fulfill the void left behind. Russia will gain both in terms of influence in credibility in the area as a result.