Da’esh – ISIS extremists have threatened to destroy the Egyptian pyramids - after releasing a video purporting to show fighters blowing up a 2,500-year-old temple in Iraq it was reported on the 7 Jun 16. Footage shows a militant vowing to demolish the temple of Nabu in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud - before a massive explosion reduces a building to rubble. The final scene in the ten-minute video shows the Great Pyramid of Giza near Egypt's capital, Cairo and a fanatic pledging to blow up 'ancient sites built by the infidels'. It is not known when ISIS targeted the Nabu temple - which was dedicated to the Babylonian god of wisdom, reports Vocativ, which sourced the video from online forums. Video shows information signs on the temple wall before the explosion is shown from a number of different angles. ISIS also claim to show bulldozers destroying the Adad and Mashki gates at Nineveh, near Mosul. Earlier this year, shocking pictures showed how ISIS militants had destroyed ancient monuments in the Syrian city of Palmyra.
Da’esh – ISIS terrorists are planning on using chemical weapons in future suicide bombings, a commander of the Kurdish Peshmerga has said and was reported on the 9 Jun 16. Peshmerga General Akram Mohammed Abdulrahman said that while ISIS has previously used both chemical weapons and suicide bombings separately, they are now looking to combine them. ISIS's tactic involves training brainwashed teenage insurgents to carry out suicide bombings using munitions containing harmful chemicals, he told Russian media. There have been previous reports of ISIS militants using mustard gas in their attacks on civilians in Iraq. 'Recently, the militants have been using chemical weapons and suicide bombers, and before it was adults, now - teenagers,' General Akram Mohammed Abdulrahman said. 'From our intelligence, there is evidence that they are prepared, so to speak, to combine these two tactics and develop a method to supply chemical weapons to suicide bombers to use on the front. Earlier on Tuesday, a bombing believed to have been facilitated by ISIS killed seven people and wounded nearly two dozen in Iraq's Shiite holy city of Karbala. The car bomb went off in a commercial area in the city, located some 55 miles south of Baghdad, a police official said. Karbala is home to the Imam Hussein Shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but ISIS, who are Sunni Muslim, often targets Iraq's Shiite majority. Baghdad has seen a string of near-daily attacks in recent weeks, but mainly Shiite southern Iraq has largely been spared from the violence. Separate bombings in and around Baghdad killed another seven civilians on the 7 Jun 16 police said.
Da’esh/Finances – Efforts to choke off the finances of ISIS have left it unable to pay its fighters and spurred corruption within the group, a senior US official said on the 9 Jun 16. Daniel Glaser, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing, told Congress that a combination of bombing attacks on ISIS cash stores and oil shipments, locking it out of the banking system, and cutting off Iraq government cash flows to ISIS-controlled areas, has left the group struggling financially. “As a result of these efforts, ISIL is struggling to pay its fighters and we have seen a number of ISIL fighters leaving the battlefield as their pay and benefits have been cut and delayed,” he said, using the US’s preferred acronym for Islamic State. “When we see indications that ISIL cannot pay the salaries of its own fighters and is trying to make up for lost revenue elsewhere, we know we are hitting them where it hurts.... ISIL, like any terrorist organization, needs money to survive,” he said. In written testimony for a House of Representatives committee hearing on security threats, Glaser said the US government’s focused attack on the financial resources of Islamic State and other groups the US dubs terrorist have had significant impact. 361 COMMENT: Unfortunately this report does not mention overseas operations. It would be interesting to know if the payment for overseas operations has been affected. Two ways of that a terrorist cell can carry out operations is to be financed by the group or to be self sufficient and carry out armed robberies for cash, kidnapping and many other methods to finance an act of terror. Should the rise in this type of activity take place then the security services will understand that a terrorist attack is planned. But this type of activity brings some much unwanted attention and could have the reverse effect. COMMENT ENDS
Da’esh/United States/The West – CIA Director John Brennan will tell Congress on the 16 Jun 16 that ISIS militants are training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks on the West and will rely more on guerrilla-style tactics to compensate for their territorial losses. In remarks prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee, Brennan says ISIS has been working to build an apparatus to direct and inspire attacks against its foreign enemies, as in the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels – ones the CIA believes were directed by ISIS leaders. “ISIL (ISIS) has a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West,” Brennan said. He said ISIS probably is working to smuggle them into countries, perhaps among refugee flows or through legitimate means of travel. Brennan also noted the group’s call for followers to conduct so-called lone-wolf attacks in their home countries. He called last week’s attack in Orlando a “heinous act of wanton violence” and an “assault on the values of openness and tolerance” that define the United States as a nation. He said ISIS is gradually cultivating its various branches into an interconnected network. The branch in Libya is likely the most advanced and most dangerous, but ISIS is trying to increase its influence in Africa, he said. The IS branch in the Sinai has become the “most active and capable terrorist group in Egypt,” attacking the Egyptian military and government targets in addition to foreigners and tourists, such as the downing of a Russian passenger jet in Oct 15. Other branches have struggled to gain traction, he says. “The Yemen branch, for instance, has been driven with factionalism. And the Afghanistan-Pakistan branch has struggled to maintain its cohesion, in part because of competition with the Taliban.” He called ISIS a “formidable adversary,” but said the US-led coalition has made progress combating the group, which has had to surrender large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and has lost some of its leaders in airstrikes. ISIS has struggled to replenish its ranks of fighters, Brennan said, because fewer of them are travelling to Syria and others have defected. “The group appears to be a long way from realizing the vision that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi laid out when he declared the caliphate two years ago in Mosul,” Iraq, Brennan said. He said the group’s ability to raise money has also been curtailed, although the group still continues to generate at least tens of millions of dollars in revenue each month, mostly from taxation and from sales of crude oil. “Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIS on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach,” he said. “In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIS, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda.”
Gaza/Israel – Homeland Security Newswire 7 Jun 16: Hamas fighters can travel underground throughout the entirety of the Gaza Strip using the terror group’s tunnel network, according to a Hamas operative who was captured last month after he crossed illegally into Israel from Gaza. “Hamas has dug an extensive network for moving fighters around the Strip exclusively underground,” which includes rest quarters for use by elite fighters, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said. The revelation follows the IDF’s recent discovery of two Hamas terror tunnels that crossed into Israeli territory. IDF spokesman Col. Peter Lerner attributed the detection of the second tunnel to improved intelligence and technology. Another Hamas operative, who was arrested in April after sneaking into Israel on a self-described mission to murder Israelis, told authorities that Hamas digs tunnels from private homes and institutions in Gaza. During Operation Protective Edge (OPE) in 2014, which was launched in response to Hamas’ continued rocket fire, the IDF discovered and destroyed at least thirty-four tunnels in Gaza. Hamas killed several Israeli soldiers through its use of cross-border tunnels, including five soldiers in Israeli territory near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. The IDF explained that Hamas intended to use the tunnels “to carry out attacks such as abductions of Israeli civilians and soldiers alike; infiltrations into Israeli communities, mass murders and hostage-taking scenarios.” Palestinians in Gaza have recently expressed fears that Hamas tunnels built in or near civilian areas are putting non-combatants at risk of being hurt by Israeli strikes. “I am sure, one million percent, that those with tunnels under their houses cannot sleep, or taste the joy of life,” one anonymous 42-year-old woman in Gaza told the New York Times. According to the UN, only 23 percent of Palestinian homes that were destroyed during the war have been reconstructed. Israel has accused Hamas of confiscating 95 percent of the cement entering Gaza, diverting it from civilian reconstruction and using it to build its tunnels instead. The Gaza-based terror group has invested heavily in expanding and building its network of tunnels since the 2014 conflict. Hamas reportedly spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each month and employs more than a thousand operatives “24 hours a day, six days a week” to build tunnels. “We have a Gaza City under the ground, and we have nothing up here,” a 23-year-old Gazan who lives in a mobile home told the New York Times in May. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters weeks earlier that the discovery of the tunnels was a sign that Hamas was preparing for another war against Israel. He added that the tunnel digging means that “they definitely invest a lot in making the necessary preparations so that in the next round, when they decide to start it, they will be able to inflict the heaviest damage on Israel, including through those tunnels.”
Iran – Sources have revealed how Iran's Assembly of Experts has elected the well-known hardliner Ahmad Jannati in its rank to head the council of clerics, which is responsible for selecting the successor of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei it was reported on the 15 Jun 16. Although not well-known in the West, Ali Asghar Hejazi is a very powerful man in the Iranian leadership. The shadowy cleric’s high position, heading up security for the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gives him direct access to the Islamic republic’s most authoritative figure. In the previous three decades, he served in several senior intelligence roles. The older Hejazi has been also been busy. Recently, he helped an ally and hardliner take a post in a top governmental council. Sources revealed how Iran’s Assembly of Experts last month elected the well-known hardliner Ahmad Jannati in May 16 in its rank to head the council of clerics, which is responsible for selecting the successor of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. A majority of the 88-member council voted on the 14 Jun 16 in favour of Jannati, keeping the council in the hands of ultra-conservatives, countering the gains by reformists and moderates during the Feb 16 elections. Jannati’s election came as a surprise. He had previously been the minority holder in the council, and sources said that he was about to lose the election until the older Hejazi met the chairman of Iran’s expediency council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is also the former president of Iran. The source said that a decision was taken then to knock another candidate, known only as “Sejadi,” off the list of the assembly’s key figures. This move paved the way to Jannati to jump in the council’s rank. His new status puts him on the list to run for the Assembly of Expert’s top post – its presidency. A source said “We can now disclose that alongside his official position, Hejazi serves as a prominent link between Iran’s leadership and the murky operations of the Quds Force, the special forces unit of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.” Despite his high profile, one of Hejazi’s children manages to maintain a very secretive, yet important role. Uncovered information reveals that his son, Mohammad Hassan Hejazi, is a key Quds Force operative. The 29-year-old serves as a high-ranking field operative in a unit responsible for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance for the Quds Force’s activities abroad. In the last few years, he headed covert operations in several countries around Europe, South-East Asia and in the Middle East. Growing up amongst Tehran’s wealthy, connected elite, Mohammad Hassan reportedly has a taste for luxury – with a passion for expensive cars and fine dining. He is also not afraid to pull strings in the capital’s corridors of power. While the young Hejazi lacks a dazzling social media presence like some of the internet-famous Rich Kids of Tehran, his ilk are commonly nicknamed “Aga-Zadeh,” or “spoiled brats.” Like many other Quds Force operatives, Mohammad Hassan is known to use aliases and fake passports to conduct his operations. If his powerful father stays in his position - and the son continues on this same path - it would seem likely that the young Hejazi could soon become one of the leading and most influential figures in the Quds Force.
Iraq/Da’esh/Fallujah – Reports say at least 130 Iraqi soldiers were killed in a series of attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group near the city of Fallujah in Anbar province it was reported on the 2 Jun 16. The first attack happened at dawn on the 1 Jun 16 when 10 suicide bombers belonging to ISIL hit the town of Kubaisah before storming the nearby village of Al Sejar, and then attacked an army convoy to the south of Fallujah at Amiriyat al-Fallujah with roadside bombs. After more than a week of operations aimed at retaking Fallujah the Iraqi army - made up of the military, police and Shia units, and backed by air power from a US-led coalition - has been unable to reach the city centre. The overall commander of the Fallujah operation, Lieutenant-General Abdelwahab al-Saadi said that while the Iraqi army had slowed its advance, it was still at the fringes of Fallujah. "We are here in Naimiyah district and operations are ongoing, and the advance towards the centre of Fallujah is continuing too," he said. The Iraqi government has blamed ISIL for the slow progress by using human shields and preventing civilians from leaving the city. "It would've been possible to end the battle quickly if protecting civilians wasn't one of the foundations of our plan," Haider al-Abadi, Iraq's prime minister, said in comments broadcast by state television. Since the start of the operation on May 22-23, Iraqi commanders have claimed to have killed dozens of ISIL fighters but remain hesitant about releasing their own casualty figures. However, a member of the security forces posted outside Najaf's Valley of Peace, where many from Iraq's Shia majority bury their dead said that it had "received about 70 fighters, probably a bit more". Officials in Basra said the southern province had lost 26 fighters from Shia units belonging to the Hashed al-Shaabi umbrella group. Medics also reported many injured from the battle for Fallujah. Since the 30 May 16 just two of Baghdad's hospitals received 97. The operation for Fallujah has come at a dire human cost, with thousands of civilians trapped between ISIL fighters and the advancing Iraqi army. Up to 50,000 people were still stuck in the centre of the city on the 2 Jun 16 struggling with dwindling water and food supplies. No aid has reached Fallujah since Sep 15 and residents have been living on dates, dirty water from the Euphrates and animal feed.
Iraq – More than 22 people have been killed and 70 wounded in bombings targeting a commercial street and an army checkpoint in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Iraqi police said on the 9 Jun 16. A car packed with explosives blew up in a commercial street of Baghdad al-Jadeeda, an eastern district of Baghdad, killing at least 15 people and injuring over 50, a police officer said. Separately, a suicide car bomber targeted a main army checkpoint in Taji, just north of Baghdad, killing seven soldiers and injuring more than 20 others, the officer said. In an online statement, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group claimed responsibility for the attack on the commercial street. No one has claimed responsibility for the other attack which comes as Iraqi forces are trying to dislodge ISIL fighters from Fallujah, their stronghold just west of Baghdad.
Israel – Four Israelis have been killed and several others injured in a shooting near Israel's defence ministry and main army headquarters in Tel Aviv, police said on the 9 Jun 16. The incident happened on the night of the 8 Jun 16 at the Sarona Market, an area with restaurants and cafes. At least five others were injured in the shooting and taken to the nearby Ichilov Hospital. Reacting to the attack, Israel has suspended entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. Israeli police initially said that there was only one attacker, but Meirav Lapidot, a spokesperson, later said two attackers had been captured after carrying out what appeared to be "a terrorist attack". One of the shooters was taken in for questioning, and the other, who was injured, was taken to hospital. Police said the attackers were two Palestinians from the same family from the town of Yatta, south of the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Haaretz newspaper reported that the attackers were disguised as ultra-Orthodox Jews. Since Oct 15, increased tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel have boiled over into violence. In the first half year of 2016, Palestinian attacks have killed 32 Israelis and two visiting US citizens. Israeli forces have shot dead at least 196 Palestinians. Tensions over Jewish access to a volatile and contested Jerusalem holy site, revered by Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and Jews as Temple Mount, have fuelled the violence. In a similar attack in Tel Aviv five months ago, an Israeli Arab killed two people on a main shopping street and the driver of a taxi he used to flee the scene. The assailant was killed a week later in a shootout with police at a hideout in his home village in northern Israel. The announcement of the suspension of entry permits for thousands of Palestinians during Ramadan was announced on the morning of the 9 Jun 16. "All permits for Ramadan, especially permits for family visits from Judea and Samaria to Israel, are frozen," said a statement from COGAT, the unit which manages civilian affairs in the occupied West Bank. It said that 83,000 Palestinians would be affected, adding that 200 residents of the Gaza Strip who had received permits to visit relatives during Ramadan would also have access frozen.
Jordon – A suspect has been arrested for allegedly carrying out a gun attack on the 6 Jun 16 that killed five Jordanian intelligence agents at their office at a Palestinian refugee camp, an official said. Government spokesman Mohammed Momani announced the arrest without identifying the accused, adding: “Investigations are under way but early indications are that this was an isolated act.” The gunman struck at Baqaa camp north of the capital early on the 6 Jun 16 the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in what Momani called a “terrorist attack”. A security source said the suspect was arrested at a mosque in the Salt region north of Amman. The suspect was armed and resisted arrest, the source said, adding that a police officer had been injured in the swoop. Jordan is a leading member of the US-led coalition fighting ISIS in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, and has been the target of attacks. The Baqaa camp is 20 kilometres (12 miles) from central Amman and is the largest of the kingdom’s 10 official Palestinian refugee camps. Baqaa houses about 220,000 people, including more than 100,000 of the two million Palestinian refugees who live in Jordan.
Kurds/Syria – Kurdish-led forces have launched an offensive to capture the Syrian town of Manbij, a suspected supply route for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group to smuggle weapons in from Turkey it was reported on the 2 Jun 16. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of armed groups led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), was mobilising near Manbij in the northern province of Aleppo. In the past 24, 18 coalition air strikes are reported to have targeted positions held by Da’esh. Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria analyst for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington DC, said if anti-ISIL fighters take Manbij and then Jarablus, that would sever ISIL's link with Turkey. "Recapturing Manbij and ultimately advancing to Jarablus would disrupt but not eliminate ISIS's ability to resupply," she said. The US-led coalition has long had its eye on the so-called Manbij pocket. But an offensive on this mainly Arab region has run into opposition from Turkey, a key partner in the alliance. The US sees the SDF - which is dominated by YPG - as the most effective ground force against ISIL in Syria. The SDF was founded in Syria's mainly Kurdish north-eastern region in Oct 15, and is made up of at least 15 armed factions - mostly fighters from the YPG and the Free Syrian Army. On the 1 Jun 16 Pentagon officials stressed that the attack on Manbij was being led by the Arab component of the SDF. Turkey regards the YPG as a branch of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade armed campaign against the Turkish state. Over the past 10 days the SDF has also launched an offensive to retake Raqqa, the main ISIL stronghold in Syria.
Syria/Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin may deploy special operations forces on the ground in Syria, a former official has said in a news conference and reported on the 3 Jun 16 a move that might be made to ensure "a decisive victory". It has been more than eight months since Russia intervened in the Syrian conflict, and at the time Putin said there were no plans to participate in ground operations - but he also said "for now". Putin is reportedly discussing with military commanders the possibility of deploying combat troops on the battlefield. "This is under discussion, there are plans for this," Andrei Fyodorov, a former deputy minister for foreign affairs said. The reinforcements could be Special Forces or volunteer soldiers who are willing to fight alongside the Syrian army and its allies. "This is a delicate issue for our military. There are serious doubts that any participation by Russia on the ground would be favourable. [Rather it could] complicate the negotiation process and lead to further disagreements with the US," Fyodorov explained. But there are those in political and military circles who believe this deployment is needed. Russian firepower prevented the collapse of the Syrian government last year. Damascus was struggling to repel rebel advances on several fronts. The Kremlin wanted to tip the balance in favour of its ally enough to allow it to benefit at the negotiating table. But the battle lines did not change and peace talks led nowhere. Neither side was willing to compromise nor strong enough to impose a settlement. "From the Russian point of view, [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad should control 70 percent of Syria, and that way you can hold elections and they would be favourable for Assad. That is why the issue of ground operations is becoming more actual," said Fyodorov. Over recent weeks, Russia's role on the Syrian battlefield was noticeably reduced as Moscow wanted to give a chance to political talks. That message was clear when Russia did not provide close air power to the Syrian government and its allies in their military campaign in Aleppo in early May. But on the 22 May 16 the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the first Russian air strikes in Aleppo province since the US-Russian brokered a cessation of hostilities deal in Feb 16. The Russian defence ministry has said it recently intensified strikes against al-Nusra Front in Aleppo and Idlib provinces, and said that the conflict would only escalate after blaming Washington's refusal to join efforts in the fight against what it called "terrorism". "Russia has little choice. It can't allow itself to lose Aleppo. This would deprive it of a trump card. This would enable the other side to regain the initiative and [force Russia] to accept conditions not favourable for Assad," Sergey Strokan, a political analyst said. There are Russian voices within the government and military pushing for the ground operation. Russia's intervention in Syria has been costly - billions of dollars have already been spent, and the country is suffering from an economic crisis. The Kremlin never wanted a permanent war, and it can't just pull out of a conflict that has brought it back into the international arena. That is why some analysts suggest a "Stalingrad" in Syria is what the Syrian government and its allies need - a final battle to decisively end the war. And that would require ground troops. 361 COMMENT: The Russia and will be very cautious regarding this venture as they do not want a repeat of Afghanistan. On the other hand they will be annoyed that other western countries have soldiers on the ground conducting operations in support of the various factions. COMMENT ENDS
Syria – Coalition aircraft dropped ammunition to Syrian rebels fighting ISIS in northern Aleppo as they try to prevent the extremists from entering the town of Marea, a monitoring group said on the 3 Jun 16. “The coalition airplanes dropped, in the last 24 hours, ammunitions, light weapons and anti-tank weapons to rebels in Marea,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman said. He said it was the first time the coalition had made such a drop to rebel fighters other than the Kurds, although a US defence official denied this. The official confirmed the drops, but said they did not include light weapons or anti-tank weapons. ISIS fighters swept through rebel-held territory in a shock offensive in Aleppo province late last month, cutting off the main road between Marea and Azaz, two main rebels bastions in the province. The ISIS advance forced thousands to flee towards the northern frontier with Turkey. The United Nations said it was “deeply concerned over the fate of an estimated 8,000 Syrians trapped by fighting around the towns of Marea and Sheikh Issa”. An unknown number of people are unable to flee due to fighting and the closure of the main road between Marea and Azaz, it added.
Syria – The Syrian president has vowed to "liberate" every inch of the country in the same way his troops recaptured the historic town of Palmyra from Islamic State earlier his year Bashar Assad's speech in front of the newly elected parliament came as government forces pushed ahead in their offensive in the northern province of Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS and the seat of its self-proclaimed caliphate it was reported on the 8 Jun 16. Government forces have also almost encircled rebel-held neighbourhoods in Aleppo, Syria's largest city. The situation on the ground is much better than it was months ago, Assad claimed, calling on the people "not to worry because the conditions are good". Earlier, legislators had stood up and chanted, "Our soul, our blood we sacrifice for you, Bashar", as he walked into the parliament's main hall in central Damascus. The scales of war in Syria have tipped in Assad's favour since Russia began an aerial campaign last Sep 15 helping government troops capture wide areas from insurgents. The biggest victory came in Mar 16 when Syrian forces evicted IS from Palmyra. "The way we liberated Palmyra and before that many areas, we will liberate every last bit of Syria from their hands. We have no choice but to be victorious," Assad said to applause from the deputies. "Our war on terrorism will continue not because we like war. They imposed the war on us," Assad added, reiterating his staple blaming of foreign countries for Syria's five-year crisis. "The shedding of blood will not end until we uproot terrorism, wherever it is." The speech was Assad's first before the newly elected chamber and his first public remarks since Jan 16. He thanked China for using its veto power at the UN Security Council months after the crisis began to prevent the imposition of sanctions on Syria. He also thanked Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah group - three key allies that have played a critical role in turning the balance of power in his favour. The Syrian president blamed the opposition for the failure of three rounds of indirect peace talks in Geneva this year, blasting his opponents as "traitors for foreign countries who have become mats for the feet of their masters". The opposition demands that Assad play no part in any transitional or future political establishment in Syria. In Tuesday's (7 Jun 16) speech, he rejected any changes in the constitution that could lead to the partitioning of Syria on a sectarian basis. "A sectarian system turns the sons of the nation into enemies and foes," he said. 361 COMMENT: The statement is an interesting one especially in light of the Kurds. They have assisted in liberating much of Syria and if they wish to keep the parts of the country liberated then there will no doubt be conflict there. This is not an easy issue. Russia has supported t the United States has supported the Kurds. The new autonomous region of the now spreading Kurdistan does not want to be the first proxy war with East facing West. COMMENT ENDS