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Syria Tag

The Islamic State (ISIS) has held Raqqa, Syria, for four years and made it the the group's de facto capital. That appears to have ended as US-backed Syrian forces have declared they retook the city from the terrorists. From CNN:
"Major military operations in Raqqa are finished but they are now clearing the city of sleeper cells -- if they exist -- and mines," Talal Salo, spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, told CNN. The SDF is a coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters.

On a morning when you would have expected the Morning Joe panel to be all about Trump's CNN wrestling tweet, a Washington Post editor/columnist painted an amazingly positive portrait of the president's actions in Syria. WaPo's David Ignatius has just returned from a week in Syria. He was almost apologetic in prefacing his remarks: "I'm going to say something that in some ways is sympathetic to Trump." He then proceeded to say that he was told by top US commanders that "the most daring and decisive" attack in the battle of Raqqa would not have happened if it hadn't been for President Trump's decision to delegate authority to commanders in the field.

A U. S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian Su-22 fighter-bomber following an attack on U. S.-led coalition forces in Syria. This story is just breaking, so we will have more as it becomes known. Fox News reports:
U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian government warplane after it attacked Washington-backed fighters near ISIS' de facto capital of Raqqa, the U.S.-led coalition said Sunday. In a statement, the coalition said its aircraft "conducted a show of force" to turn back an attack by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's forces on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of Ja'Din, south of Tabqah.

Note: This is the final in our daily re-created coverage of the Six-Day War, which ran from June 4. Prior posts: 50th Anniversary of Six-Day War: The Eve of WarSix-Day War Day 1 — War BeginsSix-Day War Day 2 — At the Gates of Jerusalem’s Old CitySix-Day War Day 3 — “The Temple Mount is in Our Hands”; Six-Day War Day 4 — Egypt and Jordan Defeated; Six-Day War Day 5 — Golan Heights are Captured. Today, after 132 hours of fighting between Israel and her Arab neighbors, a cease-fire went into effect with Syria.

Note: This is the fifth in our daily re-created coverage of the Six-Day War, which will run through tomorrow (Saturday, June 10). Prior posts: 50th Anniversary of Six-Day War: The Eve of WarSix-Day War Day 1 — War Begins; Six-Day War Day 2 — At the Gates of Jerusalem’s Old City; Six-Day War Day 3 — “The Temple Mount is in Our Hands”; Six-Day War Day 4 — Egypt and Jordan Defeated. As we reported in prior posts, for the past four days Egypt’s media has been incessantly reporting about false military victories. But by this morning, President Gamal Abdel Nasser could no longer hide the truth. Appearing on national television, he admitted the defeat of the Egyptian armed forces and told the nation that he was resigning from office. With Egypt and Jordan maintaining cease-fires, the southern and eastern fronts are now quiet. But that’s not the case for the beleaguered Israeli communities in the north of country. They’ve been coping with a barrage of rocket fire over the last four days.

Lebanon-based terrorist outfit Hezbollah is in the middle of a financial crisis, recent intelligence assessments reveal. "Tehran's vassal is on the verge of bankruptcy," leading German newspaper Die Welt reported citing Western intelligence sources. Despite a steady flow of funding from Iran, the “Party of Allah,” as the terrorist group is called in Arabic, seems to have overstretched itself by venturing into the Syrian Civil War. In 2011, Iran had ordered Hezbollah to march into Syria, extending its base of operation beyond Lebanon, to keep the Assad Regime in power. German newspaper Die Welt reports:

On May 13, 2016, we reported on the death of Mustafa Badreddine at an airport in Syria, Another top Hezbollah commander killed – but who dunnit?
There have been a series of assinations of top Hezbollah commanders in the recent past, including Imad Mughniyeh (mastermind of almost all attacks on Israel and the U.S.), his son Imad Mughniyeh (who was killed along with several high level operatives and an Iranian general), Hassan Laqqis (key Hezbollah link to Iranian weapons procurement) and Samir Kuntar (who killed an Israeli girl by smashing her head against the rocks on a beach).

Surprising consensus on today's Morning Joe that Barack Obama blew it bigly in Syria by punting on his redline. Even Obama fan Mike Barnicle admitted, "Syria was a serious mistake that the Obama administration made." Foreign policy honcho Richard Haass said "history's going to be rough on this. This is going to be the defining moment for the Obama presidency." It wasn't just the panel that trashed Obama's mishandling of Syria. Joe Scarborough noted that not only did leading Dems like John Kerry and Hillary quickly come out in support of Trump's strikes, but that Dems were saying things that were "almost disloyal to Barack Obama, saying we could have never moved this quickly."

A Syrian survivor of the 2013 gas attack—in response to which Obama ignored his own red line—calls out Hillary Clinton. Brooke Baldwin, and the left for their rampant hypocrisy regarding Syria and refugees. PJ Media reports:

CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin had a chemical attack survivor on her show Friday to discuss the Syrian regime's sarin gas attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun and President Trump's subsequent military response. To say Baldwin's transparent attempt to coax an anti-Trump soundbite from Kassem Eid -- who now lives in Germany -- wildly backfired is an understatement.

Lefty journalist Jeremy Scahill found a graphic way to describe the MSM's support for the cruise missile attack that President Trump ordered this past week. Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources today, The Intercept's Scahill said, "Fareed Zakaria: if that guy could have sex with this cruise missile attack, I think he would do it." Along similar lines, Scahill said that MSNBC's Brian Williams seemed to be "in true love with the cruise missile strike."

Donald Trump ordered a limited military strike on a Syrian air base after the Syrian military was believed behind a chemical weapons airstrike that killed dozens. The military strike generally received praise both because it happened and because, at least for now, it was limited and intended to establish the red line that Obama ignored. Whatever other horrific warfare has taken place in Syria, and it has been horrible on a historic scale, the use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated. The plans for an attack were drawn up by the U.S. military, among many alternatives. The Russians, apparently, were alerted at some level beforehand since the attack was on an airbase also used by the Russians. To have done otherwise would have risked a wider conflict if Russian troops were hit by U.S. launched missiles. So that minimal coordination, which takes place among several militaries operating in the skies over Syria, was a cautious move by the U.S. military and Trump. The widespread praise for Trump's action has triggered some really bizarre conspiracy theories.

After the Syrian gas attack, President Trump had a choice: do nothing or do something. It's a choice all presidents face, because sooner or later they will be tested---usually sooner, and not just once but many times and in many ways in many places. When faced with similar circumstances in Syria, Obama declared the existence of a red line and then ignored it. This is one of the worst response/nonresponses possible. It indicates indecision and lack of resolve, a president who talks tough but his threats means nothing and can be safely ignored.