Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has promoted its drone strikes against the Islamic State near the Iraqi border in Syria. The IRGC says the strikes were carried out as “revenge” for an Iranian soldier who was beheaded by the so-called caliphate.
Hezbollah forces and its militia allies can be seen parading in the streets of Deir Ezzor after lifting the siege of the city. Syrian regime soldiers, who had been under the siege since 2014, praise Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrallah for their role in the operation.
Israel struck a suspected chemical weapons facility near Masyaf, Syria earlier today. The facility may have been run by the Syrian regime’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which has been sanctioned by the US government for its role in producing chemical weapons and the means to deploy them.
As US-backed forces seize the city of Raqqa, the Syrian regime moves to retake ground in Deir Ezzor, where the Islamic State has laid siege to Bashar al Assad’s forces since 2014. Assad’s regime has received a boost from Iranian-sponsored militias, as well as the Russians, during its recent offensive in eastern Syria.
A complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan would have been disastrous. The US government needs to drastically reassess America’s jihadist enemies and avoid the policy pitfalls of the past.
The Taliban has released an “open letter” to President Trump urging him to “adopt the strategy of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan instead of a troops increase.” The propaganda letter contains several erroneous or misleading claims. It is also disingenuous with respect to the jihadist threat emanating out of Afghanistan.
The milestone marks the first instance the US will designate the military branch of a foreign country for terrorism.
Mullah Mustafa, a Taliban commander who was targeted by the US military in an airstrike nearly a decade ago and who has links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp – Qods Force, remains a key player in the insurgency in central Afghanistan. He was involved in the Taliban takeover of a district in Ghor.