TLDR Upfront: The battle against ISIS continues on two crucial fronts in Iraq & Syria as mirror images of one another. In Mosul, a coalition of forces have pushed ISIS back into only a half of the city but civilian casualties mount under an intensifying air campaign led by US warplanes. In Syria, ISIS
TLDR Upfront: Contrary to doomsayer predictions of a new WWI between Russia and Turkey based on the assassination of an envoy in Ankara yesterday, pretty much the exact opposite happened. The beginnings of a Red Wedding scenario, a framework of cooperation between Russia, Turkey and Iran - excluding the US, NATO and the United Nations
TLDR Up Front:Pro-Assad forces are in the final stages of securing the last territory in Aleppo, ending the Battle of Five Armies in a major immediate victory for Assad - though the future is uncertain.
TLDR Up Front: Although Aleppo has been the Sarajevo of Syria since 2012, it's forming into just such a battle as no less than six distinctly separate major forces converge onto the city from all sides. This is creating a "swirling" effect visible on the map as each group takes, loses and retakes ground. Except
Buried under the lead of the budget battles Friday night and over the weekend is a serious escalation of violence in Syria. I’m not quite ready to call Assad “gone”, in the standpoint of inevitable, irreversible change (hell Gaddahfi’s still hanging in there but I stand by my earlier call it’s just a matter of