Thursday, January 19, 2017

Birds of a feather

The faux-realist position that Putin and Assad have won in Syria because they have the cities never made any sense (look at the history of insurgency in Vietnam) but it now makes even less sense (Wall Street Journal) --

Islamic State has ramped up sales of oil and gas to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. and European officials said, providing vital fuel to the government in return for desperately needed cash. The regime’s purchases are helping sustain Islamic State amid unprecedented military pressure on the militant group in both Syria and Iraq. It is also helping the group despite the regime’s insistence that it is dedicated to eradicating the militant group with the help of its top allies Russia and Iran. Oil and gas sales to Mr. Assad’s regime are now Islamic State’s largest source of funds, replacing revenue the group once collected from tolls on the transit of goods and taxes on wages within its territory, the officials said. Their information comes from the monitoring of oil-truck traffic routes, which have changed from carrying oil to Turkey and Iraq to transporting it to Syria.

Rebels also control much of the water supply to Damascus.

No comments: