These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
7th anniversary of the Syrian war
Seven years into Syria’s deadly conflict, the government forces and their allies are closing in on militants near the capital Damascus. Eastern Ghouta is one of the last remaining areas under the control of Saudi-backed anti-Syria militants. Liberating the Damascus suburbs is viewed as a major victory for forces loyal to president Bashar al-Assad, and a blow to Riyadh and other known backers of terrorists. The Syrian army gains would also further anger the U-S which is afraid of its waning influence in the Middle East. It is important to remember that Russia’s military intervention and Iran’s military know-how have been important factors behind the defeat of foreign-backed militants.
US accusations against Iran
US Defense Secretary James Mattis this past Thursday accused Iran of trying to meddle in Iraq’s upcoming parliamentary elections. Mattis said this was part of what he described as a wider plan to destabilize the Middle East. This followed other accusations raised by Washington that the Islamic Republic has already spent huge sums to increase its influence across the region. But those accusations fly in the face of the fact that it has been the US, itself, which is blamed for deteriorating instability in the region through its so-called wars on terror. Quite to the contrary, Iran is being credited for contributing its own initiatives to fight the terrorists by helping the governments of Iraq and Syria.