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Will the US give in?

MENAroundupMENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Mid
May 31 · Issue #40 · View online

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

Key developments
  • The situation in southeast Syria is growing acute. Despite the US strikes on a pro-regime convoy that was advancing on positions of US-allied FSA units two weeks ago, pro-regime forces took further territory in the desert region between Palmyra and al-Tanf, a strategically important border town. 
  • The US dropped leaflets, telling pro-regime militias that they have entered a safe zone and must return. Also, according to a rebel commander, the US has increased the flow of arms to the FSA units who expelled the Islamic State from large swathes of southern Syria.
  • However, Iran seeks to establish control over the Iraqi-Syrian border. Its Iraqi militias, part of the so called Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), reached the Syrian border on Monday. The head of the Badr Organization that has close ties to Iran said that they would not allow the US to control the border. 
  • The question is who will give in: Will the US risk a confrontation in the southeast or will they abandon the FSA rebels and withdraw their special forces? 
  • The bottom line: The way in which everyone wants a part of the cake as the Islamic State is losing ground illustrates how the jihadists could become so powerful in the first place.
Articles worth reading
Iraqi troops torture and execute civilians in secret videos
U.S. Sees a Vital Iraqi Toll Road, but Iran Sees a Threat
Aleppo After the Fall
Forces Fighting ISIS Turning on Each Other as Iran Opens Land Corridor to Syria
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