March, 2016 Security-Intelligence

Territory held in northern Syria and Iraq

Patrick Cockburn
The war in Syria and Iraq has produced two new de facto states in the last five years and enabled a third quasi-state greatly to expand its territory and power. The two new states, though unrecognised internationally, are stronger militarily and politically than most members of the UN. One is the Islamic State, which established its caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq in the summer of 2014 after capturing Mosul and defeating the Iraqi army.

ru-jet

Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Avinoam Idan
The importance of Turkey’s downing of a Russian aircraft and the current Russian-Turkish confrontation is not only connected to the crisis in Syria; it could become a trigger for escalation between Russia and NATO. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union and NATO’s expansion eastward toward the Russian border, Russia has seen NATO as a major security threat to itself and its geostrategic space. Turkey is an important member of NATO, and 2016 is an election year in Washington. This serves as a window of opportunity for President Putin, who can take advantage of tensions with Turkey to undermine NATO’s standing.

By Perry Cammack
A problem that has confounded four presidents, and perhaps soon a fifth
Twenty-five years ago this week, on February 24, 1991, the first United States ground invasion of Iraq began. The first Bush administration had clear UN and congressional mandates to liberate Kuwait. More than thirty countries contributed ground forces, and the Soviet Union was a critical diplomatic partner.


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is steaming through the Red Sea on its way to the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal for joint maneuvers with the Egyptian navy in preparation for a reduced coalition offensive against Islamic State’s deepening grip on Libya.