Americans are retreating under fire from a NATO ally (with American nuclear bombs) and Washington’s latest Middle East policy is quite simply to ignore it and hope it all goes away. That’s a great policy from the perspective of Iran, which is racking up victory after victory. It’s a great policy from the perspective of China, which hasn’t had to lift a weaponized finger in a decade to secure a foothold everywhere from Africa to the Persian Gulf. It’s a great policy from the perspective of Russia, too, which has somehow managed to play all sides in the Middle East with a significant amount of success, starting in Syria. Finally, it’s great for ISIS.
Local officials on the ground in northern Syria say that hundreds of ISIS figures have already escaped. Turkey has rejected US calls for a ceasefire, and now Syrian regime forces have entered the region on behalf of the Kurds, with Russians right behind and positioning themselves between Turkish and Syrian forces.
American forces previously were stationed in blue areas listed below but have stepped aside. Syrian government forces have now rolled into Manbij, which the US has abandoned.
All the onshore in Syria is in this region, and now it’s effectively up for grabs. No one wants it to go to ISIS. Even the Syrian Kurds will choose Assad over ISIS.
But what, exactly is up for grabs?
Russia has long been working to secure Syrian oil for itself. It…