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Syria Update: Nothing Newsworthy

I know, it's been forever since I did one of these, but that's because nothing newsworthy has been happening. The Kurds are continuing to slowly grind through ISIS's capital city of Raqqa, which has turned out to be a very long and difficult fight. The rebels are mostly occupied with fighting against each other. The regime has been slowly clearing ISIS out of the desert in preparation for an eventual assault on Deir-az-Zor. Things are progressing slowly.

The Race To Deir Ezzor

I'm of several minds as to what the regime is likely to do here. First of all, I don't buy the idea that they have 6500 tribal fighters. Their numbers are probably much more limited than that, and I doubt they have the manpower to really properly hold these long front lines. In particular, I suspect that capturing the Rusafah-Palmyra road would be less beneficial than South Front thinks, because the lack of manpower will make the encirclement porous.


I've been trying to avoid getting into it with alt-lefters lately, but I decided yesterday would be my cheat day, so I had a bit of fun with a Bernie Bro Baby Boomer (Bernie Boomer?). This is him replying to a woman rather than me personally, and is in the context of him attacking those damn Hillary-supporting millennials for not having gotten Trump out of office yet. (Earlier quote: "In my day we got results. We weren't prissy little millennials worried about man buns and skinny jeans. We took a stand, we changed history...what have you done?")

Horsehoes at Cynthia

Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party's presidential candidate in 2008, is now apparently an open anti-Semite.

The next time you feel the urge to post disparaging comments about horseshoe theory, or claim that the Far Left has a better history on social issues than the Democratic Party, remember this, and ask yourself if Hillary Clinton would ever accuse Jewish financiers and B'nai Brith of secretly controlling the government and the Federal Reserve.

The Social Divide in American Politics

This is truly fascinating. A few observations:

Turkey vs the SDF

SYRIA UPDATE: A few days ago, Turkey conducted airstrikes against the predominantly Kurdish SDF, which is our main ally on the ground the force responsible for 95% of the gains against ISIS. Turkey is now carrying out artillery strikes along the borders of the Kurdish canton of Afrin, and have reportedly been moving forces towards the SDF-held city of Tel Abyad. The stated aim of the Turkish government is to invade SDF territory, take Tel Abyad, and then move west into Kobane canton. They also want to take Manbij and the territory around Raqqa.

Hamma and Raqqa

SYRIA UPDATE: Multiple major events underway today. The rebels, who have spent the last few months consolidating their command structures (which they should have done at the start of the war) have launched a massive offensive toward the city of Hama, which is between Aleppo and Damascus. Yesterday, they were about 9 km away from it; now, they're about 3.5 km. This has been a major blitzkreig style offensive and has taken a large swath of territory, mostly countryside. They're now in a position where they can easily shell Hama's airport. The regime needs to respond to this ASAP.

The Deplorable Care Act

We now have an outline of the GOP's replacement plan for the ACA. The key points:

Finally al-Bab

SYRIA UPDATE: After four months of fighting, Turkey has finally taken al-Bab from ISIS. They also took the nearby towns of Qabasin, Bzaa, and Tadef, where ISIS had been holding out for ages.

Freaking finally.

Current state of the fight against ISIS

The Kurds are carving up the area around Raqqa. The plan was for them to actually take the city, but Trump put that on hold.

Turkey still hasn't taken al-Bab. They started trying in November. They have made substantial progress lately, largely due to Assad doing them a favor and gaining fire control over the supply route. For reasons that are unclear to me, they've also elaborately arranged the front lines to look like an enormous phallus, possibly as a display of dominance.

East Mosul has been fully liberated, but is still being targeted by ISIS drone strikes.


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