Game change: Russia can now warn Israel against IAF operations over Syria

No going back.

The game-changers. Russian air defense soldiers man their weapon system, the S-300, in a recent drill. (Image via defencerussia.wordpress.com)
The game-changers. Russian air defense soldiers man their weapon system, the S-300, in a recent drill. (Image via defencerussia.wordpress.com)

A recent report in Arabic media suggests that Israel has agreed to coordinate the IAF’s operations over Syria with Russia, and claims that Russia has warned Israel against conducting strikes in Syria in which Russian soldiers may be killed.  Israel Matzav has the story here.

The reflexive inclination is to focus on whether this particular report is accurate, and what the narrow, immediate implications are.  The big-picture implications, however, are actually much more important.

Short-term/tactical

But let’s quickly address the first questions.  The tone of the Arabic reporting, even in pidgin translations, is triumphalist against Israel, and we should exercise due skepticism of any particulars.

That said, the concerns reportedly raised by Russia are valid and reasonable, if Russia is going to be operating in Syria.  The Arabic report is by no means unrealistic. Continue reading “Game change: Russia can now warn Israel against IAF operations over Syria”

Ramadi’s fall has positioned Iran for a big score

Interesting times.

Refugees from a fallen Ramadi clog the roadways outside Baghdad in May 2015. (Image: Corbis vis Newsweek)
Refugees from a fallen Ramadi clog the roadways outside Baghdad in May 2015. (Image: Corbis via Newsweek)

If you listen to the mainstream media, you probably think mainly that a superior force of Iraqi national troops abandoned the city of Ramadi to Islamic State 10 days ago – by implication, doing so in spite of U.S. support to the Iraqis and the battle.

As Americans were wondering “What happened?” over the past week, words uttered by Ashton Carter, the U.S. secretary of defense, came to seem like the answer.  His signature comment was to the effect that the Iraqis were unwilling to fight.

As a cherry on top, I heard (Tuesday evening) a news anchor on the local ABC affiliate chirp out the theory that Carter’s harsh assessment “may have prompted” the Iraqi government to mount its impending operation to retake Ramadi.  The implication is that the Iraqis had to be goaded into it.  Local affiliates don’t make up foreign-affairs news narratives on their own; this was undoubtedly fed to them by the staff at ABC headquarters. Continue reading “Ramadi’s fall has positioned Iran for a big score”

Empire: The Iran edition

History returns.

Khamenei, with combat mosque, broods over Baghdad's Tahrir Square, Mar 2015. (Image: AFP, Ahmad al-Rubaye, via IBTimes)
Khamenei, with combat mosque, broods over Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, Mar 2015. (Image: AFP, Ahmad al-Rubaye, via IBTimes)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Like it never even happened: Tikrit and the unwriting of modern history

Back to the future.

Burn, baby, burn. Oil field sabotage by ISIS near Tikrit, Mar 2015. (Image via Twitter)
Burn, baby, burn. Oil field sabotage by ISIS near Tikrit, Mar 2015. (Image via Twitter)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Islamic State burns 45 Iraqis to death outside Al-Asad air base

Interesting times.

(Image via Tea Party Tribune)
(Image via Tea Party Tribune)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!