A mini world war rages in the fields of Aleppo

KILIS, Turkey — Across the olive groves and wheat fields of the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, a battle with global dimensions risks erupting into a wider war.

Russian warplanes are bombing from the sky. Iraqi and Lebanese militias aided by Iranian advisers are advancing on the ground. An assortment of Syrian rebels backed by the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are fighting to hold them back. Kurdish forces allied both to Washington and Moscow are taking advantage of the chaos to extend Kurdish territories. The Islamic State has snatched a couple of small villages, while all the focus was on the other groups.

  • David Murrell

    I am reading the book “Catastrophe 1914” about all the shennanigans leading up to WW I, and the first months of the war. The insanity of he Syria war rivals that of the lead up to WW I. Sometimes the anti-intervention voices make sense.

  • Hard Little Machine

    The funny part is that there’s no useful difference between success and failure. Whatever happens or not, this will grind on until exhaustion and it falls back to totalitarianism. It doesn’t matter what form that takes, secular, religious, other. But when they’re tired of raping, killing, burning and eating each other, they’re throw the job to a dictator who will kill them in a more manageable measured fashion. And then when they get tired of that in a few decades they go back to their regularly scheduled death orgy. Hopefully the next one will go nuclear and we can begin anew except with people this time.

  • John

    I don’t know who is who anymore in this conflict

  • BillyHW

    Hey I don’t even have satellite tv.

  • There’s an old Russian proverb: “You can’t hunt a bear if your attention is diverted by every passing rabbit.”

    The U.S. is making the same mistake under Obama that it made under GWB: trying to prosecute two completely different wars at the same time in the same region. The fact is Iraq’s Saddam Hussein wasn’t really bothering anyone when GWB decided to invade — Saddam already had his clock cleaned during the First Gulf War under George Senior. They could have taken him down then if they wanted — Saddam’s military was decimated. But for reasons that were stupid, George Junior diverted his attention from Bin Ladin and Al Queda in Afghanistan and decided to go after Saddam and Iraq instead. And the Media was complicit — I remember the polls back then, at one point 80% of Americans were misled to believe that Saddam had caused 9/11 and not Osama Bin Ladin! It was frankly insane. I’m with Trump all the way on this.

    Same thing happening under Obama. Assad is a “bad guy” like Saddam was, but like Saddam he wasn’t really bothering anybody at the time. Same went for Libya’s Qaddafi and same with Egypt’s Mubarak. The idiot Left got the idiot idea for an “Arab Spring” when there was no critical mass to support any such thing inside any of these countries, nor anything better to replace the old regimes.

    The “bear” they need to be hunting is ISIS and other international Islamic terrorist organizations, and forget gunning for imaginary “Arab Spring” Quixotian “rabbits” such as Assad. Someday the latter may be a realistic goal, but not now. Learn from the Russian proverb.

    • DavidinNorthBurnaby

      Great post. As Nixon said, “He’s a sonofabitch, but he’s *our* sonofabitch”. The US have abandoned their sonsofbitches in the region and chaos is filling the void.

  • simus1

    The basic premise that a long major Russian – French – British conflict with Germany at the close of the 19th century was impossible rested on Germany’s shortage of domestic raw materials for making explosives in the massive quantities needed and in its lack of financial staying power. The Harber-Bosch Process freed Germany from the raw materials bind and the Kaiser was convinced he could win before the money ran out. So an ongoing Balkans squabble featuring the war mongering Austrian General Staff got major backing for something much larger because the German Generals also had something else stuck in their craw.

    That something was Russia’s early 20th century start at modernization of its railways and the accompanying massive economic growth and increasing military strength that would follow. So the Kaiser was told “We can easily beat the Russians now but in five or ten years, maybe not.”
    There is a Youtube series on the Great War designed to catch the attention of middle and high school kids with a lot more dwelling on the personalities involved than usually found elsewhere. It is synchronized to events occurring day by day 100 years ago so it will hopefully run for at least three more years.

  • ismiselemeas

    Syria has been at the mercy of puppet war masters since time immemorial. It’s one of the oldest countries still existing. Russia was slugging it out there in the mid 1700s while the US was taking it to Tripoli in North Africa. The causes and effects have not changed. The Ottoman/Turks have always treated the Alawites like heretics (Sunni vs Shia of course) and there is a very real threat that al-Assad’s defeat will lead to the extermination of the Alawites. The Americans need to regard de Gaulle’s dictum “France has no friends, only interests.” A practice in diplomacy that runs deep in the region.