Syria and the Knave of Trumps

Posted on Tags , , , ,

Donald Trump’s announcement that he is withdrawing all US military personnel from Syria may fulfil one of his 2016 election pledges to the American people. But it is also a — domestically driven — betrayal of key American allies, not least the Kurds. Latest clear indicator of the overall shape of US foreign policy for as long as Mr Trump remains in the Oval Office.

Syria: more international repercussions

Posted on Tags , , , , , ,

Turkish intervention in Afrin bogged down. Israel loses an F-16 and retaliates against Syrian and Iranian positions. Outlook stormy. In our posting of 29 January we quoted Charles Glass on the war in Syria: “The latest phase has little to do with Syria, apart from the fact that it’s taking place there.” Since then the bloodshed has continued in what the UN describes as “Even by Syria’s atrocious standards.. exceptionally deplorable developments”, with at least 277 civilians killed between 4 and 9 February, most of them in “airstrikes by the …

Iraq: Elections Announced, Manoeuvring Begins

Posted on Tags , ,

Iraq will hold parliamentary elections on 12 May. The formation of electoral coalitions is well underway and is producing some surprising bed-fellows. Prime Minister Abadi, despite his success in defeating Da’esh and curbing the Kurds, may not be returned to office.