Too early for true hope!

ISIS basis in the Syrian city of Raqqah
ISIS basis in the Syrian city of Raqqah

Ever since ISIS began making its presence felt on the Syrian scene, I predicted that eventually Obama will choose to intervene in Syria, but only to strike against ISIS. I warned that such a course will antagonize many Sunnis around the world, on account of Obama’s refusal to strike against the Assad regime which has committed much worse atrocities against the Syrian people, especially the Sunni majority. By enlisting the participation of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and even Qatar, Obama seems to think that he can avert giving such an impression. But he is wrong. Participation of the corrupt and authoritarian Sunni governments that have always had strong ties with the U.S. will not alleviate Sunni doubts and anger on the grassroots level, especially among the disaffected, and will probably further fuel it.

Continue reading “Too early for true hope!”

Al-Qaeda Resurgent!

As the world watches on, Al-Qaeda is gradually building a state for herself in Syria and Iraq.

November 10, 2013 | Gaziantep, Turkey

Having made its operational debut in Syria during the Summer of 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a known Al-Qaeda affiliate comprised mostly of foreign Jihadists, is now actively implementing a fast-track plan for taking over governance of all areas in that country liberated from the rule of the Assad regime, taking advantage of the fractious nature of the rebel movement and the lack of international support to moderate groups. While the plan seems to be running into some trouble in the Kurdish majority areas in the Northeast where hardened PKK fighters have left their positions in Turkey and rushed to support their co-nationals, the takeover process seems to be proceeding at a deliberate pace elsewhere in the country and is picking up speed from day-to-day. The internal differences pitting ISIS against Jabhat Al-Nusra (JAN), another Al-Qaeda affiliate operating in Syria supported mostly by local recruits, and the leader of Al-Qaeda itself, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, does not seem to be having much impact operationally at this stage, although this could change in the future. Continue reading “Al-Qaeda Resurgent!”

Auto-debaathification vs. Exo-debaathification!

Is the Syrian regime really serious about its announcement that it will execute a large-scale redeployment of its troops in Lebanon, perhaps in preparation for a complete withdrawal at a later date?


Hard to say. But if experience with this regime taught me anything, if precedents are taken into account, then the only thing I can do at this stage is to remain skeptical, skeptical until such time that the action promised actually takes place. Then, I still reserve the right to remain skeptical for a little while longer just in case our leaders took a counter-action that makes their first action meaningless.  Continue reading “Auto-debaathification vs. Exo-debaathification!”