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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Combat Reversals Pressure Syria's Assad, Complicating Efforts Against Islamic State - Troubles Come as Obama Prepares to Outline Plan to Combat Militants


From The Wall Street Jouronal:

AL-HURRA, Syria—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who four months ago seemed on the verge of defeating rebel forces, is now mired in defensive battles on several fronts, complicating efforts to fight the Islamic State militant group.

In a span of weeks, the Islamic State has overrun military bases in Syria's east. In the west, the regime faces a coalition of rebels that threatens the heartland of Mr. Assad's Alawite minority and could alter the course of Syria's multi-sided civil war. Alawites, a Shiite-linked group that forms the backbone of the regime and pro-government militias, are angry over the loss of hundreds of troops last month after the Islamic State captured an air base in the northeastern province of Raqqa.
 
These developments come as President Barack Obama prepares to describe on Wednesday his own plan to defeat the Islamic State, a Sunni-extremist group also known as ISIS or ISIL. Mr. Assad's troubles could complicate the fight against ISIS by worsening a power vacuum that has allowed the Islamist group to thrive in Syria and neighboring Iraq.
 
These same conditions, however, have also raised hope that pressure will drive the Assad regime to the negotiating table, tamping down the civil war long enough to concentrate efforts on defeating the Islamic State, a threat to both the regime and Syrian rebels.

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