by Scott Lucas – 21 June 2017 – eaworldview – Pro-Assad forces have pressed their advance in eastern Syria, attacking the Free Syrian Army on Tuesday in the sparsely-populated desert southeast of Damascus. FSA commanders said they were facing hundreds of troops and dozen of armored vehicle in the Bir Qassab area in the Badi region. The pro-Assad forces includes Iranian-supported foreign militias, and commanders Read all http://eaworldview.com/2017/06/syria-daily-pro-assad-forces-challenge-rebels-in-east/
A NEW BATTLESPACE IN SYRIA: OPTIONS FOR U.S. POLICY
By Nader Uskowi – Nader Uskowi is a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute and the senior policy advisor to U.S. Central Command. – PolicyWatch 2821 – June 20, 2017
Iran-led forces present arguably the greatest future threat to U.S. military personnel and overall interests in Syria, and therefore must be the centerpiece of a broader strategy addressing the conflict.
As U.S.-led coalition forces approach victory against the self-proclaimed Islamic State caliphate in Syria, a new battlespace is emerging that will involve warring factions vying for control of IS-held territories. These lands stretch from Raqqa through the Euphrates River Valley to the border with Iraq and the Syrian Desert, known as the Badiya. Shia militias, led by the Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, will be particularly aggressive in their quest to control the crossing points on the Syria-Iraq border and seize terrain on the Syrian side.
MESOP REPORT : WHILE LEFT-LIBERAL MEDIA ACCUSES TRUMP FOR ILLEGAL CONTACTS TO RUSSIA – TRUMP PUTS PUTIN UNDER PRESSURE
On June 18, a US Navy fighter jet downed a Syrian government warplane — the first such incident between the United States and Syria in more than six years of war in the country. The Pentagon said the Syrian jet had attacked US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters near the north-central Syrian town of Ja’din. Syria had a different narrative, saying the plane was downed “in the Raqqa countryside” while Damascus “was carrying out a military operation” against the Islamic State (IS), thus condemning the US attack as an affirmation of its “real stance in support for terrorism.”
US shoots down pro-Assad drone in Syria – 20 June 2017
A US fighter jet has shot down a pro-Syrian regime drone just outside the Syrian de-conflicti… – independent.co.uk
Coalition shoots down armed UAV in Syria
A U.S. aircraft shot down an armed pro-Syrian regime Unmanned Aerial Vehicle advancing on Coa… centcom.mil
MESOP SAMPLER : JOSHUA LANDIS COMMENT – CONTRA ROBERT FORD / SALIH MUSLIM PYD STATEMENT (20. Juni 2017)
Both KSA & Israel want US to push back against Iranian hegemony in Northern Middle East. Kurds offer US bases & leverage against Iraq/Syria.
To argue that Washington will dump the Kurds because it dumped Syria’s Sunni Arab militias is to misunderstand vast difference b/n 2 groups.
Joshua LandisVerified account @joshua_landis
US won’t abandon Syria’s Kurds, I believe. YPG is not like the Arab militias: Islamist, fragmented & anti-US. Also, US needs them 4 leverage https://twitter.com/TofighK/status/877020755023843329 …
If you ask why the “De-Confliction Zones” don’t work: “I’m not aware of the de-confliction zones, the Pentagon is referring to.” – S.Lavrov
Salih Muslim & Leaders Of Syrian Kurds Send Warm Messages To KSA and US. They Blame Iran, Syrian Regime & Turkey –
MESOP INSIGHT NEWS : AFTER THE GREAT TURN-AROUND PYD/PKK LEADER HAILS SAUDIA ARABIA & TRUMPS UNITED STATES / BLAMES IRAN & ASSAD
20 June 2017 – South Front News – On Friday, Salih Muslim, co-president of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, denied “rumors” that the PYD supports the Syrian government, blamed Iran for a “hostile” policy and said that the presence of Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries will help to consolidate the Syrian community and to boost relations between the Kurds and Arab tribes. “We have no relations with Iran, and the Iranian policy is no different from that of the Syrian regime on the Kurdish issue, which is hostile to the Kurds’ fundamental rights,” he told the Saudi media outlet Riyadh. “They fear that the Kurds will gain their fights in Syria, and the Iranian and Syrian regime have the same attitude.”
MESOP NEWS FORECAST : AMBASSADOR ROBERT FORD’S UNFINISHED ASNWERS / WHOM ELSE SHOULD PKK/PYD TRUST ? IRAN ? TURKEY ? RUSSIA! – So leave it to the United States.
- Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford called Kurdish trust in the U.S. their “biggest mistake,” saying that Washington would ultimately abandon them in pursuit of other regional goals. –
By Tom O’Connor On 6/19/17 at 5:25 PM – Newsweek – The Syrian government and its allies, including Iran, will eventually overcome U.S. efforts to secure influence in the nation, and Kurdish fighters may pay for siding with President Donald Trump and his administration, according to a former U.S. ambassador to Syria.
MESOP BACKGROUNDER : MUST READ !
Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 12
By: Aris Roussinos – June 16, 2017 – THE JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION
As the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) approach the northern suburbs of Raqqa, the long-running policy debate over the advisability of using as a primary U.S. partner a militia that is dominated by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), has reached fever pitch. Dire warnings have been made of the risks to eastern Syria’s future stability that may result from a reliance on a Kurdish-led force with links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK, Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê), to storm the city and possibly even govern it once it has been captured.
The increasingly bitter tone of the debate is only partly a reflection of the complex social and cultural dynamics of the diverse population of northern and eastern Syria. Instead, it is primarily a result of the intractable conflict north of Syria’s border, in Turkey’s restive and overwhelmingly Kurdish south-eastern provinces. Turkey’s failure to field a viable rebel force for the Raqqa operation has led to a deepened U.S. engagement with the YPG, sharpening Turkish fears that northern Syria will become a PKK training and logistics hub (al-Monitor, March 27).
MESOP NEWS : SOFT LAVROV / SOFTER PENTAGON
20 June 2017 – ARA NEWS – The Pentagon decided on Monday to re-position the US-led coalition’s warplanes in Syria. This comes after Russia threatened that coalition fighter jets will be viewed as targets in Syria, following the downing of a Syrian regime’s jet by the US-led coalition near Raqqa. “As a result of recent clashes with Syrian pro-regime and Russian forces, we took precautions to change the disposition of the aircraft in Syria in order to continue fighting Islamic State, while maintaining safety of our pilots – considering the known threats on the battlefield,” Pentagon’s spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway told reporters on Monday.
SDF vows to resist Syrian government attacks near Raqqa
June 20, 2017 Syria – ARA News – The Syrian Democratic Forcess (SDF) official spokesman Talal Silo said on Monday they will respond to any Syrian government attacks in Raqqa province after the US-led coalition downed a Syrian jet attacking the SDF forces on 18 June.“After heroic resistance from our forces and allied forces against terrorism and as part of the operation launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF], the regime forces have launched since 17 June large-scale attacks using fighter jets, artillery and tanks on the areas liberated by our forces,” Silo said, with reference to the SDF-led operation against ISIS in Raqqa.“The aim of the Syrian regime’s repeated attacks against our forces is to abort the operation to liberate the city of Raqqa,” the SDF spokesperson said.