The United States and its allies targeted Islamic State forces in Syria with nine air strikes on Tuesday, and also conducted 10 strikes against the militant group in Iraq, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
In Syria the coalition forces primarily attacked Islamic State targets near Al Hasakah, with five strikes hitting tactical units and destroying fighting positions, bunkers and a structure, the Combined Joint Task Force said in the statement. The forces also conducted three air strikes near Aleppo and hit a bridge near Dayr Az Zawr.
I am increasingly concerned that New York’s mayor may be losing touch with the normally genial, coalition-building side of his persona. It would be all right if this just meant that the rookie mayor was simply losing a few of his Democratic friends. But his behavior of late could cost the city in the future.
Probably the most perplexing relationship of all is de Blasio’s fraying ties to his one-time political mentors, Bill and Hillary Clinton. On the day that the former New York senator announced her 2016 presidential candidacy, her former campaign manager rained on her parade by proclaiming he wasn’t ready to endorse her. Since then he has doubled down on this stance and has even praised Hillary’s new nemesis, Bernie Sanders.
As Karl Sharro, a Lebanese architect turned political satirist, noted: “Obama is an astute strategist. His plan centers on supporting Kurdish factions as he also supports Turkey which is now attacking the Kurds while also supporting Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen which upsets Iran whom U.S. forces are collaborating with in fighting ISIS in Iraq as he simultaneously yields to pressure from allies to weaken Assad in Syria which complicates things further with Iran which he pacifies by signing the nuclear deal upsetting America’s traditional friend Israel whose anger is absorbed with shipments of advanced weapons escalating the arms race in the region.”
Exactly. It would all be quite funny if the consequences – 220,000 deaths in Syria, millions more displaced, plus widespread destruction in Yemen where nightly Saudi air raids are now in their sixth month – weren’t so tragic.
Indeed, Rogin said, three “senior administration officials” had put together a conference call in order to assure reporters that there were no plans “for a safe zone, a no-fly zone, an air-exclusionary zone, a humanitarian buffer zone, or any other protected zone of any kind.” So if that wasn’t the plan, what on earth was it?
Now we know. The purpose of the non-zone zone that Turkey and the U.S. may or may not wish to establish is to give the former a free hand to bomb the Kurds and the latter an opportunity to engage in joint operations with Al Qaeda.
The proof? A front-page article in the Aug. 1 New York Times reporting that a U.S.-trained rebel unit, known as Division 30, which had been sent into Syria to combat ISIS, had come “under intense attack on Friday from a different hardline Islamist faction … the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda.”