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After six years, the tanks of the Syrian Arab Army are rolling back into Qamishli, Raqqa, Tabqa, Tal Tamr, Kobani, Manbij, al-Malikiya and the other towns east of the Euphrates. This is taking place not because the SDF has been militarily defeated. Rather, as needs to be stated plainly, it has been betrayed. By its allies.
Baghdadi’s death is certainly a victory, although it does not affirm Trump’s reasoning for his precipitous withdrawal from much of northeastern Syria nor his abandonment of the US partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)... Nor does Baghdadi’s death mean the threat posed by the Islamic State is over.
This Update is devoted to analysis of the US Middle East policy in the wake of the firing of US National Security Advisor John Bolton by President Donald Trump on Wednesday - with a special focus on the future on the US policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran to renegotiate the controversial 2015 JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear deal.
It’s no secret that the US and Australia retain close ties, share similar security interests and political values, and have even paid the ultimate price for them in places like the Middle East. It is in the Middle East however, that one of the greatest challenges to realising that shared vision is found: Iran.
Much of the American and Israeli punditry unleashed a flood of condemnations of the Israeli move in mainstream and social media, entirely devoid of nuance
Israel had no good or easy option when two Members of Congress, both of whom have connections with antisemites and track records indicating contemptuous hostility to Israel, applied for visas.