Something to know about ISIL: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/12/09/syria-assad-isil-background/
ISIL — the “Islamists” — have been long “played” by Moscow and Tehran as a goad to the west and a useful foil in their feudal struggle to sustain the medieval political absolutism that in turn supports their respective dictatorships.
President Trump’s bearing down on ISIS threatens to remove that plaything from the Moscow-Tehran (old “Red-Green Alliance”) toy box. Under pressure, and as much may have taken place in St. Petersburg earlier today, ISIS has now to displace and redistribute its criminal program.
The kind of manipulation involved between Moscow and an assortment of terrorist organizations may often be indirect. As the editor of Back-Channels, I believe that the al-Qaeda presence in Syria was “incubated” of de-emphasized in Syria’s combat planning, so as to shape and “frame” the look of the developing civil war. That’s what the piece is about, and there’s more online to support it.
Regarding the St. Petersburg train bombing — today’s event — there are some tweets now crediting ISIS with the attack.
The prompt: the suggestion that ISIS was finished in Iraq.
Jared Kushner’s visiting Iraq may be overshadowing the battlefield story.
There may be more signs likes this one, however — http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/islamic-state-kills-imam-mosque-western-mosul/ — that ISIS, ever murderous and disinterested in the fates of the living, has grown desperate in Iraq and gone in for “motivating” resistance by summarily killing those unwilling to cooperate in their own suicides.
Reliant on the open source, BackChannels has been finding it difficult to obtain data regarding the ISIS presence in Mosul and elsewhere in the combined Syrian-Iraq Theater of War. This may be the closest one may get with today’s field reporting:
Some posters on Isis forums linked the explosions to Russia’s backing of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who is fighting Isis as well as other groups in the Syrian civil war.
The group hasn’t yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but often takes as long as a day to do so. If it does claim responsibility for the incident – which it has done with attacks that officials have later said it had no role in – it would be far from the first time it has done so, after it said it had inspired attempted attacks in Chechnya and Russia earlier this year.
“Syria conflict: Raqqa’s civilians foresee last days of Isis: City residents describe a kind of anarchy as jihadis prepare for final battle”: https://www.ft.com/content/db290a58-1847-11e7-a53d-df09f373be87
Note: Undated URL’s were published on the same day as the BackChannels post.