SEPTEMBER 18, 2017. Map by Cristian Ionita. MORE MAPS… … and more maps of the Syrian Civil War.
Highly Cited–AMN Al-Masdar News (registration)–6 hours ago
International–RT–3 hours ago
Syrian government forces crossed to the eastern side of the Euphrates river in Deir al-Zour yesterday, bringing the Syrian army closer to the U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.), an S.D.F. commander noting that the forces are ready for a clash with the Syrian army. Al Jazeera reports.
The countries opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not support reconstruction of the country until there is a “transition away from Assad,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said yesterday. John Irish and Yara Bayoumy report at Reuters.
Syria has been failed by Western democracies who did not intervene to support the Syrian revolution, Fadi Azzam writes at the New York Times.
U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 35 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on September 17. Separately, partner forces conducted eight strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]
The semiautonomous Iraqi Kurdish region intends to hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25 despite a ruling by the Iraqi Supreme Court that the referendum should be suspended, Ben Kesling reports at the Wall Street Journal.
Kurdish security and city police have been deployed to the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk in an effort to stem a possible eruption of ethnic violence ahead of the independence referendum. Reuters reports.
Security, Middle East
The country may never become a fully-fledged democracy, but staying the course may be the only option.
American forces could still be in Afghanistan sixteen years from now—or even generations from now—under the White House’s current strategy of maintaining an open-ended commitment to that war-torn nation.
“I think we will be there in sixteen years,” retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Allen told an audience at the Center for the National Interest during a lunch-time discussion on Sept. 13. “But I don’t think this is a sixteen-year loss on our part.”
The U.S. will deploy 3,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis confirmed yesterday, the BBC reports.
The Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of a nearly $700bn defense policy bill yesterday, issues still need to be resolved between two versions of the bill. Jordain Carney reports at the Hill.
Review of media reports, editor selected reading lists of important articles, news digests and summaries on the US and Global Security
Current News In Brief
Selected Articles In Brief