Yesterday and today, Russia lit a number of fuses in the complicated powder keg in Syria. Explosions, hopefully kept under control, are set for sometime tonight or early tomorrow. With assurances from Russia's PM Medvedev, Jerusalem is keeping a careful watch.
Political maneuverings in the international arena almost always means bloodshed. Rarely however, if ever, have internal US politics so openly competed with the blood of foreign combatants. But according to Israeli intelligence source, that is exactly what is happening today.
In the current battle for Mosul led by a US coalition of forces, there is a lot more at stake than defeating ISIS. Iran sees the city as a crucial part of its ambition for a resurrected Persian empire.
For Russia and Iran, Turkey and Iraq, and the USA, there are two irritating wildcards in the Middle East: Israel and the Kurds. Seth J. Frantzman, Op-Ed editor at the Jerusalem Post, has made several visits to Kurdish front lines. Who are the Kurds? Frantzman explains...
When it comes to Syria, Turkey could sing Meghan Trainor's tune, All About That Bass, but with its own lyrics: "It's all about the Kurds, 'bout the Kurds, not ISIS." In fact, the war against ISIS has had amazing effects, uniting the US and Turks, Kurds and Syrian rebels, Russia and Iran, even Moscow and Ankara. What would any of them do without Islamic State?