Control of both banks of the Euphrates River is an important territorial goal for the Syrian government and its allies because Syrian President Assad firmly opposes fragmentation of the Syrian state. He doesn’t want to see any of it fitting into the dreams of the Kurdish Independence movement.
Over the weekend, I received reports that Syrian forces crossed the Euphrates River, but were forced back. The US and Russia agreed that the Euphrates River is the boundary between the operating area of the SDF and the Syrian government and allied forces. The Russians did not deny that their aircraft were over the east bank of the Euphrates River.
This proved to be a minor incident, militarily, but it portends a struggle for larger stakes politically. The Syrian government intends to assert sovereignty over all territories liberated from the Islamic State. The Russians back this Syrian position. This is the next phase – the post-Islamic State phase – of the civil war.
No, it’s not being reported by the corrupt, lying, smug, nasty mainstream media as a victory for the Trump Administration, the Russians and our allies.
Fat Un’s Long March
Kim’s strategic goal is to use the threat of missile attacks to neutralize the US in future crises. One way or another, by threat of attack or negotiations, Kim wants the US out of South Korea.
In recent published comments, the fat kid with the bad haircut suggested that North Korea has a second-strike doctrine. The difference with great power usage of that term is that North Korea intends a nuclear counterattack for the slightest, conventional US or South Korean violation of North Korean sovereignty. Any military confrontation, however serendipitous or slight, can lead to a North Korean nuclear counterattack in Kim’s usage. Put another way, the next Korean War will be a nuclear war.
The US will naturally factor that into its strategy as will South Korea and Japan. China sits on the sidelines with it’s thumb (metaphorically) in a dark, nasty cave. More on that later.
North Korea apparently is producing these missiles in a sufficient quantity to use live launches to train the Hwasong missile unit. There will be lots more missile launches.
According to a report carried by the website of China Central Television (CCTV), on 15 September, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, was interviewed by Chinese and foreign news media on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Cui Tiankai said that “China’s position on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is clear and consistent. China has always been committed to pushing forward the realization of non-nuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, has always made the maximum efforts to comprehensively and fully implement the relevant resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council, and has been committed to pushing forward peaceful negotiations to resolve the problem. “
Some American mandarins believe that China is trying to formulate a policy with regard to North Korea, but it’s illusive.