CBS states that Syrian anti-government activists said Russian warplanes carried out a third day of airstrikes Friday, possibly hitting targets held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, for the first time.
Russia said its airstrikes in Syria will only intensify and could last four months, reports CBS News.
Moscow joined the Syrian civil war claiming it would target ISIS, yet many of the Russian airstrikes so far have hit areas well outside of ISIS control.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Russia conducted air raids on Qaryatain, a predominantly Christian town recently captured by ISIS, late Thursday night.
In northern Syria, Russian war planes have pounded groups linked to al Qaeda, but also so-called moderate rebels, who are supported by the U.S.
CBS states that a video posted on the Internet appears to show the aftermath of a Russian strike on American-backed opposition fighters.
Syria’s deadly civil war is now even more dangerous with both the U.S. and Russia launching airstrikes, but Russia is supporting Bashar al-Assad and the U.S. is supporting so-called moderate rebel groups.
Russia is looking into furthering its military support of the leader of Syria, who is fighting ISIS.
These are the two main sides of the war – fundamentalist Jihadi rebels (such as ISIS) on one side, and Bashar al-Assad (the ruler of Syria) on the other.
The U.S. wants to support “moderate” rebels, who are supposedly against both Assad and ISIS, creating a 3-way war.
A 3-way war is an interesting concept. How is this working out in real life?
CNN recently asked “Why is ISIS winning?”
Earlier, Iraqi government troops and / or Kurdish fighters defeated ISIS at the border town of Kobane, near Turkey, and took control of the Baiji oil refinery, the largest oil refinery in Iraq. CNN was referring to the recent take-down of the Iraqi army at Ramadi. Still, does the CNN headline comes across as biased?
Earlier this year, The Fiscal Times reported that ISIS has been “defeated in every front in Iraq in unprecedented way – from Mosul to the north to Anbar to the west and Diyala to the east…” Iraqi government forces, Shiite militias, Sunni tribes and Kurdish forces were all victorious in battle, read the report.
In April, ISIS was beat back from the city of Tikrit. “ISIS just suffered its worst defeat yet – losing the Iraqi city of Tikrit,” reported Vox.
In March, The Washington Post stated: “Reports of rising tensions between foreign and local fighters, aggressive and increasingly unsuccessful attempts to recruit local citizens for the front lines, and a growing incidence of guerrilla attacks against Islamic State targets suggest the militants are struggling to sustain their carefully cultivated image as a fearsome fighting force…”
So, the question is: Who’s right? Is CNN being biased by stating that ISIS is winning? Or is ISIS being defeated, as other publications have stated?
Just as important – are some news outlets more likely to claim ISIS is “winning” than other media? Does politics come into play? For example, is Fox News more likely to report that ISIS is winning because it makes the President look bad? Just a thought…
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have come up with an aggressive new strategy to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad: they are aiding extremist rebel groups.
“The two countries — one a democracy, the other a conservative kingdom — have for years been at odds over how to deal with Assad, their common enemy. But mutual frustration with what they consider American indecision has brought the two together in a strategic alliance that is driving recent rebel gains in northern Syria, and has helped strengthen a new coalition of anti-Assad insurgents, Turkish officials say.
“That is provoking concern in the United States, which does not want rebel groups, including the al-Qaida linked Nusra Front, uniting to topple Assad. The Obama administration worries that the revived rebel alliance could potentially put a more dangerous radical Islamist regime in Assad’s place, just as the U.S. is focused on bringing down the Islamic State group. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues, said the administration is concerned that the new alliance is helping Nusra gain territory in Syria.”
Bashar al-Assad – the current leader of Syria – is an Alawite Muslim – related to Shia Muslims (also called Shi’ite Muslims). He is aligned with Iran, a Shia-oriented nation.
Al-Assad, however, is considered a moderate. However some nations that are U.S. allies look at Assad as an enemy for political reasons.
So, is the situation in The Middle East becoming more of a train wreck? Should the U.S. take a stand against its own allies?
In an upcoming book, Former Vice President Dick Cheney ignores Barack Obama’s significant increase of drone strikes and continued bombings of ISIS and accuses the president of allowing American power to become “diminished.”
“Cheney renews his criticism of Obama in ‘Exceptional: Why The World Needs a Powerful America,’ a book co-authored with his eldest daughter, Liz Cheney, due to be published on Sept. 1 by Threshold Editions, which has backed books by conservative authors. Threshold is part of publishing house Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS Corp.”
A four-minute video shows a young man identified as Mosa’ab el Mohager in the back of a car, driving near the outskirts of Benghazi.
It ends with a shot of a distant explosion, which was supposedly the explosion of the young man carrying out a “martyrdom operation” in the name of the local Libyan branch of ISIS.
“We, unfortunately, are likely to see more and more of these tapes,” said Khaled Masouri, a 27-year-old Egyptian teacher who recently returned to Cairo from a year-long teaching project in Libya. “There are many Egyptians flocking to these jihadi groups.”
Thousands of Egyptians are estimated to be fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, states BuzzFeed.
Egypt’s military has openly bombed ISIS targets in Libya.
However, Egyptian officials fear that thousands more Egyptioans could join the ISIS militants that it’s attacking, in a country that it shares a long, porous border with.
While we focus on the beheadings in the fight with ISIS in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has beheaded 57 criminals this year, according to Agence France-Presse. The most recent beheading was for the crime of drug smuggling.
Is there a double-standard in our dealings with the different countries of the Middle East? Does it have a relationship to oil and economics?