U.S. Ratcheting Up Activity in Eastern Syria

(Jerusalem Post) Jonathan Spyer - An observable ratcheting up of U.S. and allied air and special forces activity in eastern Syria is underway as the battle against the territorial holdings of Islamic State is reaching its final phase. The reconquest of Mosul in Iraq is almost done. The assault on Raqqa city in Syria is about to begin. Pro-Western forces are pushing north from Jordan and south from the Kurdish-controlled area north of the Islamic State enclave. The Iranians want to create a contiguous line of territory controlled by themselves and their allies, stretching from Iraq into Syria, and thence to the Mediterranean Sea and the border with Israel. Islamic State has formed a buffer against the achievement of this goal. When Islamic State control of Raqqa ends, who will inherit the territory? The Americans are beginning the process of turning back the Iranian advance by developing reliable proxies in this pivotal area to block a contiguous line of Iranian control - which is also an Israeli national security interest. Notably, the outcome in eastern Syria is not of primary interest to the Russians, who care about preserving the Syrian regime's existence and keeping its naval investments in Latakia province on the west coast. The writer is a senior research fellow at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, IDC Herzliya.

2017-05-26 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive