Grave setbacks for Obama’s strategy: Turkey backs out of US-led war on IS. Germany, UK say no to air campaign

The Turkish government inflicted a stunning blow to President Barack Obama’s strategy for a broad US-led coalition for tackling and defeating the Islamic State, Thursday, Sept. 11 – just hours after the plan was unveiled in Washington. One of the 11 Sunni Muslim nations invited to Jeddah by US Secretary John Kerry Thursday to join the coalition’s establishment, Turkey announced instead that it wants no part in the US strategy for destroying IS.

In his speech Wednesday night, President Obama specifically named Turkey as one of the “friends and allies” who would contribute troops to the mission. Continue reading

Saudis explore Iranian options for Syria & Lebanon in talks with Iran’s Salehi

Saudi Arabia has decided to explore dialogue with its great regional rival Iran for ending the Syrian conflict and assuring Lebanon’s political future, debkafile’s Gulf sources report. They have given up on US policy for Syria in view of Russian and Iranian unbending support for Bashar Assad; his battlefield gains aided by Hizballah and Iranian Bassij forces; and Turkey’s inaction after Saturday’s terrorist bombings in the town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border which caused 46 deaths. Continue reading