Seventh Iraq/Syria Map

The ISIS begins surrounding Baghdad from the South and captures the Iraqi desert to reach the Jordanian border. The desert in Syria is much more difficult to capture as the Syrian military understands it to be an essential frontier between the non-government controlled Euphrates Valley and government-controlled south-western Syria. The desert serves no such function for the Iraqi government and can, thus, be used by the ISIS to carry out interventions in the Kingdom of Transjordan. Might Jordan stop aiding the Syrian rebels now? The desert does serve as such a frontier for Jordan as it does for Syria.

Obviously, the ISIS won’t capture Baghdad, but I’m leaning toward the possibility that it might assault the city. I am not taking the recent news of U.S. advisors having been sent to Iraq seriously, as Obama has been shown to be pro-ISIS through and through. There is no chance of the Iraqi government recapturing Nineveh within the next month unless the Kurds do it for them.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

4 thoughts on “Seventh Iraq/Syria Map”

  1. In your article, you wrote “Obama has been shown to be pro-ISIS through and through.” Would you be willing to back up that assertion? I was somewhat surprised to see such a claim considering the tendency toward moderation seen in the comment policy.

    1. See this post:
      Obama has claimed to support the Syrian rebels against both the Syrian government and the ISIS. Yet, the Syrian rebels aren’t making any progress. If Obama genuinely supported the Syrian rebels, they would already be at the gates of Assad’s palace and at the gates of the citadel of Raqqa. Since this year’s January backlash and the Syrian rebels’ capture of the Azaz area and the ISIS’s withdrawal from Idlib and much of Deir ez-Zor provinces, the ISIS has only expanded- to the Talbiseh rebel enclave in the West, to Eastern Ghouta in the South, and in Deir ez-Zor province and the region of Tell Brak in the East. The Syrian government has also gained back most of Qalamoun. If the Obama administration wasn’t doing or pretending to do anything in Syria, then I wouldn’t be saying Obama is pro-ISIS. But CIA-smuggled Croatian weapons are ending up in the ISIS’s hands. The Obama administration has set up training camps for the Syrian rebels. This is clearly U.S. intervention in the Syrian conflict. Considering the fact the U.S. is, at least on paper, the most powerful player in the Syrian conflict, we should certainly not expect the ISIS to expand under Obama’s watch. Yet, the ISIS is expanding. If Obama’s a friend of the Syrian rebels, then I’m sure they’d love to have only enemies.

      1. I agree that Obama has done little to stop the Islamic State’s advance, but I think the distinction here is whether Obama is “pro-ISIS” vs “not sufficiently Anti-ISIS.” It’s certainly true that the US is on-paper the most powerful player, but having forgone the ability to act in a way that ensures a victory in favour of, for example, the FSA, doesn’t mean the President is pro-ISIS.

        Similarly, the US’s unwillingness to intervene in Donetsk and Crimea does not make the US pro-Russian.

        My understanding is that a major source of unwillingness to provide arms to the rebels was the inability to distinguish between moderates and extremists (at least that’s what the administration claims). Furthermore, when you flood a region with weapons, even if it’s only to one party, others are going to get ahold of them.

        1. Similarly, the US’s unwillingness to intervene in Donetsk and Crimea does not make the US pro-Russian.

          -Nothing similar here at all. Russia has a U.N. Security Council permanent membership, nuclear weapons, an army of hundreds of thousands, and open friendly relations with other states. The ISIS has none of these. It does, however, have open contempt for all infidels. Taking coercive action against de facto Russian forces in Donetsk and Crimea would be the height of folly. Taking coercive action (whether overt or covert; preferably the latter) against ISIS forces would be the height of wisdom.

          If the U.S. intervenes in a conflict, it should preferably be for someone.

          Furthermore, when you flood a region with weapons, even if it’s only to one party, others are going to get ahold of them.

          -True, but, as Clay Claiborne has pointed out, failure to provide funding and arms to supposed moderates has only given supposed fundamentalists an advantage. Whether this consequence was intended or unintended, I know not. The U.S. did secretly provide food aid directly to Nusra back in 2013, so we can by no means be certain that the U.S.’s designation of Nusra as a terrorist group means that the U.S. is somehow opposed to Nusra’s growth.

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