Time for Obama to tell us again about how they’re falling back and nearing defeat. Meanwhile, in real life no one is even fighting the Islamic State. The Russians are fighting other jihadis who are trying to topple Assad, and the Americans are restricting their activities to cosmetic airstrikes.
“ISIS captures most territory in months amid Russian strikes,” Associated Press, October 9, 2015:
BEIRUT — Islamic State militants captured a string of villages near Aleppo on Friday in a lightning attack that brought them closer to the prized city in northern Syria, despite a major increase in Russian airstrikes that Moscow insists are targeting the extremists.
The surprise advance that brought the ISIS group to within a few miles of Aleppo was the most significant in months, following what has largely been a summer of stalemate in the war against the extremists.
It comes amid a wave of intense Russian airstrikes that have targeted insurgents fighting to topple President Bashar Assad, and a ground offensive by the Syrian army in the country’s central region.
Moscow says it is targeting mainly Islamic State militants, but US officials and Syrian rebels have said the strikes have hit mainstream rebels for the most part and are aimed at shoring up Assad’s embattled government and troops. Many of the rebel groups hit by the Russian strikes are also at war with the ISIS group.
“Everyone who wants to fight the rebels says that they are coming to fight Daesh while in fact they want to fight the rebels,” said Bahaa al-Halaby, an activist based in the city of Aleppo, using an Arabic acronym for the group.
He said the Russians have not carried out attacks against ISIS in Aleppo, which is split between government forces and various insurgent groups. “They are trying to finish off the rebels,” he said.
Other activists wondered where the Americans were.
“Why didn’t America attack Daesh fighters during their attack?” asked Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights….