One of the things that has intrigued me about the Obama administration’s alleged strategy to combat ISIS is the degree to which it focuses on Syria. Not only are airstrikes within Syria contemplated but another attempt will be made by the administration to arm the Syrian opposition forces. To me this seems counterintuitive.
Not only is he heartland of ISIS in Iraq but expanding our efforts into Syria diffuses those efforts while making building a coalition much more difficult. For instance, Turkey, which unlike Saudi Arabia does have an extensive frontier with Iraq and Syria, is reluctant to take part in operations to reduce ISIS in Syria because it wants to be rid of Assad. Fighting ISIS in Syria requires the United States to either openly collaborate with Assad and with al-Qaeda as well as attempting to develop the imaginary force that is the Free Syrian Army. In fact, the Free Syrian Army has made it clear that it will not be part of the US effort against ISIS.
The Free Syrian Army has announced that it will not sign up to the US-led coalition to destroy Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria.
The group’s founder, Colonel Riad al-Asaad, stressed that toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is their priority, and that they will not join forces with US-led efforts without a guarantee that the US is committed to his overthrow.
“If they want to see the Free Syrian Army on their side, they should give assurances on toppling the Assad regime and on a plan including revolutionary principles.”
This comes on the heels of the moderate Syrian opposition agreeing to a modern day Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact to fight Assad:
Moderate Syrian rebels and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reportedly struck a cease-fire deal on Friday, according to a group that has monitored Syria’s civil war.
The groups agreed to a non-aggression pact in which they promised not to attack each other.
The development could influence members of Congress to vote “no” on an authorization to train and equip moderate rebel groups as early as next week. The White House has requested the authorization, but some lawmakers have already been skeptical the opposition groups can be trusted.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in the United Kingdom, said the groups reached the agreement in a suburb of Damascus, Syria’s capital.
Strategically, the focus of our operations should …read more