According to "reports," IS has launched a serious counter-attack to keep the US backed SDF from reaching the city of Deir al Zor for the purpose of occupying the part of the city still under IS control. If this is really happining, the event will prove tricky for the ant-American left to explain how it is that the shifty Americans have caused IS (seen as a US proxie) to fight to prevent the US proxie (irony) SDF succeeding in reaching the city.
But! At the same time the tricky Americans are engaged in inducing various tribal sheikhs' defection from their past "allegiance" to IS. How can this be! Are not these sheikhs forever stained and unusable. It would seem to be that they are not! Your humble guide though the tortuous maze of eastern Syria and other parts Saracen, learned in a long and misspent life that tribal sheikhs have no fixed loyalties. Alas!
And then, pilgrims, there is the case of a Syrian government intelligence officer who successfully infiltrated IS in the wild east of Syria and posed as an IS emir for some three years … Bravo mon vieux! Bravo! I would say of this man that he had balls as big as basketballs and is lucky to have not ended with them lodged between the jaws of his decapitated head. Could such a thing have occurred? Certainly! He was a Syrian Arab, spoke the language with the right accent, showed up at a particularly fluid moment and prayed a lot. He was still damned lucky. Civil wars make such exploits possible. You might want to ask Claude Devereux about that if you run into him.
Lastly, there appears to be a deep split in the policy of the DJT Administration between the generals active and retired, who want to carve out some sort of Kurdish and "friendly" Arab lodgement in east Syria for god knows what purpose, and the domestically oriented right wing policy wonks who are seeking counter-revolution in the US. Trump? Who knows? Perhps he just wants this teaspoon full of oil to improve what he sees as a bad balance sheet over the last 16 years.
Evelyn Waugh would have loved this scene. pl