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The Orton Report

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December 7, 2016

Analysis: ‘The End of the Beginning for the Islamic State in Libya’

The “capital” of the Islamic State (IS) in Libya, Sirte, has fallen to pro-government militias. “Our forces have total control of Sirte,” claimed one spokesman on Monday. “Islamic State’s rule over Sirte is now over,” said another. That was slightly …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
December 2, 2016

Analysis: ‘Defeating the Islamic State for Good’

The Islamic State (IS) is nominally under attack now in its twin capitals, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. This is necessary task, of course, but, as I’ve written repeatedly over the last few months, clearing IS from its …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
November 29, 2016

Analysis: ‘What To Expect After the Fall of Aleppo’

The pro-Assad coalition in Syria has conquered more than a third of the rebel-held enclave in eastern Aleppo City, the last urban stronghold of the mainstream armed opposition. Without significant external assistance, it is difficult to imagine the rebels can …

Posted in The Orton Report
November 24, 2016

Analysis: ‘Trump Might Continue Obama’s Dangerous Syria Policy’

There is not yet any clarity with regard what Donald Trump would do about Syria once he becomes President. Virtually everything about the incoming administration is in the “wait and see” phase. Still, on the current evidence, Trump’s Syria policy …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
November 22, 2016

Analysis: ‘Turkey Continues to Protest the Coalition’s Syrian Kurdish Allies’

This morning, Turkey issued arrest warrants for forty-eight members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a forty-year war against the Turkish state. The PKK is listed as terrorist by Ankara, Britain, the European Union, NATO, and the …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
November 20, 2016

Analysis: ‘An Ideological Founder of Islamic State is Killed in Syria’

A week ago, it became clear that the air war being waged by the U.S.-led Coalition, which primarily targets the Islamic State (IS), was going to expand its campaign against the leadership of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (JFS), al-Qaeda’s rebranded branch …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
November 14, 2016

Analysis: ‘Coalition Allies Play Into Islamic State’s Hands’

Last week, a member of the Kurdish militia that is the primary instrument the U.S.-led Coalition is using in Syria to defeat the Islamic State (IS) was killed. Examining his biography underlined that this militia is the Syrian wing of …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
November 11, 2016

Analysis: ‘America Escalates the War Against Al-Qaeda in Syria’

The United States and therefore the international Coalition is about to step up its operations against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (JFS), al-Qaeda’s recently rebranded Syrian branch. This is a necessary policy, but pursued in isolation—without replacing the capacities that JFS provides …

Posted in The Orton Report
November 6, 2016

Analysis: ‘The Coalition’s Flawed Endgame Strategy for the Islamic State’

After some (perhaps wilful) confusion over the timing, the operation to expel the Islamic State (IS) from Raqqa City, its Syrian capital, got underway this morning, running concurrent with the effort to evict IS from its Iraqi capital, Mosul. There …

Posted in The Orton Report
October 28, 2016

Analysis: ‘The Mosul Operation and Saddam’s Long Shadow’

The offensive to wrest the Iraqi capital of the Islamic State’s (IS) caliphate, Mosul, from the terror organization began on 17 October, led on the ground by Iraqi and Kurdish forces and supported from the air by the U.S.-led Coalition. …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
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