"Iran Is Outgunning And Outsmarting The US Across The Middle East"

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MENAroundupMENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Mid
 
August 2 - Issue #49 - View online
MENAroundup

MENAroundup
MENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Middle East, focussing on Syria and Iraq. lars@menaroundup.com

Key developments
  • The Lebanese Hezbollah and the Lebanese army successfully pushed jihadists out of the border town of Arsal. The Hezbollah-led operation is a huge symbolic victory for the movement as it demonstrates Hezbollah’s leading role and its “service” for the Lebanese state. 
  • Brett McGurk claims that by now up to 25.000 Sunni Arab fighters are part of the Syrian Democratic Forces. This estimation seems completely exaggerated.
  • According to Pentagon estimates, up to 12.000 Islamic State fighters are still operating in Syria.
  • Pro-regime forces advanced along the Euphrates and seized some villages south of the river. Obviously, the regime intends to secure that important area and thus limits the YPG’s ambitions to continue its advance after defeating the Islamic State in Raqqa. The Assad government has played a smart game: First, it allowed the Islamic State to crush rebels in eastern Syria. Then it watched the International Coalition bombing ISIS to hell. Now, it takes the opportunity and reclaims the territory.
  • Despite the announcement of de-escalation zones, regime bombing continued close to Damascus and in Hama.
  • According to some reports, the U.S. is at odds with one of the rebel factions it has supported  in eastern Syria. Reason? The group refused to solely fight the Islamic State while pro regime forces pushed into the area. Surprise.
Articles worth reading
Strengthened by War, Hezbollah Displays Regional Power
Why Israel Is Concerned About American-Russian Understandings on Syria
Iran Is Outgunning And Outsmarting The US Across The Middle East
Iran's Growing Casualty Count in Yemen
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