Good news in the war on ISIS: the terrorist network, having been driven from its “caliphate capital” of Raqqa, Syria, just lost its last stronghold of Deir az-Zur. It now controls only one small village. An anonymous military source told Reuters that ISIS will cease to exist as a leadership structure with headquarters, leaders and territory under its control and just be a group of scattered individuals.
The bad news: ISIS is falling to both pro-Bashar al-Assad forces backed by Russia and Iranian militias, and Kurdish forces trained and advised by American troops. With ISIS finally driven off that oil-rich Syrian land, it could be setting up a confrontation over control of the land between the US and Kurdish forces on one side and the Iranian, Russian and pro-Assad Syrians on the other. Al-Assad has already declared the presence of US forces on Syrian land to be illegal and says his troops will turn fire on them once ISIS is defeated. But if the US vacates, it will allow Iran to expand further in power and influence, becoming even more of a threat to Israel and the US. Iran has already taken power over Lebanon, is trying to destabilize Jordan’s government, and is working with the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad to find new ways to attack Israel.
Good thing we made them our friends with that deal to let them build nuclear reactors.
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