"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)



Sunday, March 27, 2016

Palmyra falls as the caliphate is pushed back in Iraq and Syria- The Economist

IT WILL provide little solace to the people of Belgium, who are mourning the death of more than 30 people at the hands of Islamic State (IS) suicide bombers in Brussels on March 22nd. But in its own heartland the IS “caliphate” is weakening markedly and losing ground. One theory might be that the jihadists are lashing out abroad because they are being pushed back at home.
In the past 14 months IS is thought to have lost about a quarter of its territory. The group’s latest setback has come in Palmyra, which the Syrian army recaptured on March 27th after weeks of fierce fighting and Russian air strikes. It is the biggest victory yet for the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s embattled president, since Russia tipped the war in his favour. Palmyra, a World Heritage site, is home to many Greco-Roman ruins, some of which were destroyed by IS. It also allows the Syrian government and its Russian ally to argue more convincingly that they are fighting jihadists, and not just mainstream Sunni rebels.