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.
(INS) Awooga! Awooga! The largest Al-Queda affiliate, the Al-Nusra front in Syria, is being widely reported as having “split off” or “declared independence” from Al-Queda renaming itself the Levant Conquest Front. With nearly 15,000 militants and territory in Idlib province under their direct control, Al-Nusra has adopted elements of ISIS’s emerging-state actor approach. It is
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