President Trump has begun to shift U.S. counterterrorism policies toward an extreme paradigm that departs from both liberal and conservative orthodoxy. In his first weeks in office, Trump recast the enemy as radical Islam, reconsidered U.S.
The Syrian government has recaptured the Old City of Aleppo, bringing roughly three quarters of eastern Aleppo back under the regime’s grip, the Washington Post reports. The rebels have retreated deeper into their vanishingly small territorial foothold, where they are now debating full withdrawal from Aleppo.
Iraqi forces pushed deeper into southeastern Mosul today in an effort to gain ground after weeks of slow fighting, the AP reports. The Ninth Armored Division launched a new assault to take the hospital in Mosul’s Salam neighborhood, which Islamic State fighters had been using as a base of operations.
Benjamin Wittes offered a defense of libertarian panic as a response to the Trump administration.
He also shared journalist Jonathan Rauch’s query for input from Lawfare readers concerning how to identify when the Trump administration has crossed key red lines protecting liberal-democratic norms.
The remaining Syrian rebels in Aleppo are banding together in a new alliance to resist encroaching government forces, Reuters reports. The alliance is calling itself the “Aleppo Army” and is led by Abu Abdelrahman Nour of the Jabha Shamiya faction. Infighting has hurt the rebels’ ability to repel government fighters before, including during this past weekend’s offensive when the regime recaptured a third of rebel-held territory in the city.
Syrian rebels have vowed to continue the fight in eastern Aleppo despite losing a third of their territory to a government assault earlier this week, Reuters reports. The rebels refuse to negotiate a surrender agreement with regime forces, which a number of other insurgents have done in besieged cities across Syria.
Syrian government forces have maintained pressure on rebel fighters in Aleppo following the regime’s victory in a major operation yesterday, Reuters reports. The government assault recaptured all of northeastern Aleppo—a third of rebel-held territory in the city—and now the regime is intensifying its attacks on rebel positions in the southeast.