History will likely show that ISIS's new strategy was the point in time when it was forced to roll the dice...and lost.
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Western countries dismissed Russian overtures because they believed that the Assad regime would be overthrown in a matter of weeks. But, in 2015, Russia will not easily abandon a resurgent Assad.
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By taking the decision to bomb ISIS targets in Syria, Australia has picked a side in the Syrian civil war. It is nonsense to think that Australia is not now tacitly helping the Assad Regime's war effort.
Clearly, the facts on the ground -- or "on the ice" -- in Australia's territory are that Chinese flags are flying over more and more of it, and the Chinese are getting a better picture of where the territory's natural resources are located.