Saturday, 7 February 2015
The most important thing in the Middle East that no one is talking about'The most alarming thing about Iran's management and framing of the Syria conflict is that it's actually worked. As Smyth writes, the "battlefield successes" of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra "have effectively caused the Iranian and Assad messaging strategy to appear more like a self-fulfilling prophecy than an advanced operation to alter narratives about the rebels."
And the secular rebels who Iran and its allies smeared as "takfiris" are barely holding onto what little territory they still control. The war is being fought along Iran's preferred sectarian fault-line, with Sunni extremists fighting a network of Shi'ite religious warriors largely organized from Tehran.
The US has even "de-conflicted" with the Syrian and Iranian air forces in Iraq and Syria. That isn't tantamount to an endorsement of the Iranian narrative of the war, but it is a sign of how US policy has conformed to the conditions that Iran and Assad have imposed on the conflict.'