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The only thing that’s clear about Syria is that everyone seems to think that they’re fighting the Islamic State.  (I haven’t read any reports directly coming from the Islamic State (I’m not sure which media outlet they use) but I suppose they may be the exception.)  Iran just fired a few missiles into Syria at the Islamic State faction that they think is fighting against the Syrian government (WP, Reuters, LAT, NYT).  The US just shot down a Syrian jet that the Syrian government said was bombing Islamic State targets (The US says the jet was bombing anti-Syrian forces in Syria that were not–it repeats, were not–Islamic State fighters) (Fox, Slate, Bloomerg, Haaretz).  The US says it’s fighting the Islamic State and so does Russia.  Yet, somehow, this feels like the place where World War 3 could start because it’s a bizarre proxy war where the backers are, officially, all fighting the same enemy.  A little ‘friendly fire’ could cause a big row.  Meanwhile, the common enemy’s strength only grows over time as it takes pot shots at the ‘civilized’ world and feeds on the gathering discontent and hatred.  It’s hard to imagine a happy ending to all of this.



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