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Tag Archive: Syria

Timeline of Escalation in Syria: U.S. vs. Iran, Russia, Syria and “Pro-Regime” Forces post January 20, 2017


April 4: Chemical attack

A rocket laced with the nerve agent sarin kills more than 80 civilians in Khan Shaykhun in the rebel-held Idlib province. The attack is attributed to the government of Bashar al-Assad.  There is reportedly “mounting evidence” that Russia was “complicit” in the attack at least through knowledge or acquiescence.  continue »

America’s AUMF Problem: Tomorrow’s Senate Hearing and a New Proposal from Eliot Engel

Events over the last several weeks show that not only is the AUMF issue not going away, but that Congress continues to inch closer to agreement. This Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on “Reviewing Congressional Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.” As readers well know, the executive branch continues to rely on the war authorization Congress passed a week after the 9/11 attacks.…   continue »

About that “Deconfliction Zone” in Syria: Is the United States on Firm Domestic and International Legal Footing?


The U.S. military has at least three times in recent weeks engaged in hostilities against pro-Syrian regime forces near the At Tanf garrison in southern Syria and shot down a pro-regime drone in the same region on June 8.  In the first of these instances, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis referred to the pro-regime forces more specifically as “Iranian-directed forces.”  After the second of these two incidents, U.S.…   continue »

Don’t Be So Quick to Call Those Disclosures “Legal”

Following multiple reports that President Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian officials at a private meeting, various legal experts have asserted that Trump broke no laws. An impressively thorough blog post on Lawfare noted that “the very purpose of the classification system is to protect information the President, usually through his subordinates, thinks sensitive.…   continue »