Syria Video Analysis: US Declares War on Islamic State — But Will It Fight Alongside Assad or Insurgents?

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America’s political and military leaders have said that the US must confront the Islamic State in Syria as well as in Iraq, but does that strategy mean cooperation with the Assad regime or with the insurgents?

Does the US even have a strategy?

Logically, if you were to take on the Islamic State, its main foe is the Syrian insurgency. So if you were to take on the jihadists, you give arms, ammunition, and information to the Islamic Front, the Free Syrian Army, and other factions.

But the US has wavered on this for years, because its own mantra of “extremists” — a catch-all term for many fighters in the insurgency — has bitten it in the backside….

So what about allying with the Assad regime against the Islamic State?

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Re: Logically, if you were to take on the Islamic State, its main foe is the Syrian insurgency.

    Logically, no. The Syrian opposition is a former ally of the Islamic State, and the biggest source of fighters for the group. The Syrian opposition also still includes the official franchise of Al Qaeda, the Nusra front. So I wonder where this logic comes from?

    • ISIS was never an ally of the insurgents, even the Al-Nusra front. Ever since ISIS came from Iraq, the opposition activists viewed them with suspicion, and Al-Nusra front was openly opposed to them having authority in Syria. As it became clear ISIS was not fighting the government, the resentment of the group grew.

    • Perhaps it comes from the fact that insurgents have spilled more blood fighting IS than the Syrian regime. If you want to use that logic then perhaps you should mention that Assad was allied with the group now known as IS long before the Syrian insurgency even started. Syria was the main transit route and a key safe haven for the same group during the Iraq war.

      • All it is about, is the fight for the supremacy of the Islamic caliphate. Each group wants to be the emerging and triumphant force that succeeds in domination and wants to be known as the catalyst for Armegeddon. It is all about pride and shame, the twin pillars of Islam.

  2. ISIS in Perspective
    Paul R. Pillar , The National Interest

    Americans, following a long tradition of finding monsters overseas to destroy, are now focusing their attention and their energy on a relatively new one: the group variously known as ISIS or ISIL or the Islamic State. The group has become a major disruptive factor in the already disrupted internal affairs of Iraq and Syria, and it is legitimately a significant object of concern for U.S. policy as far as instability and radicalism in the Middle East are concerned. The outsized role that this group has come to play in discourse about U.S. foreign policy, however—including hyperbolic statements by senior officials—risks a loss of perspective about what kind of threat it does or does not pose to U.S. interests, and with that a possible loss of care in assessing what U.S. actions in response would or would not be wise.

    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/isis-perspective-11150

  3. It is true that the Islamic insurgents in Syria have formed the basis for the recruitment of soldiers for ISIS in Babylon. What everyone needs to accept and understand is that these muslim criminal gangs all adhere to the exact same ideology, islam, which seeks world domination and is ready to implement armegeddon in order to achieve their nefarious purposes. The infighting does not mean that they are not of the same islamic mission. See somalia for the legacy of islamic tribal warfare.

    Therefore you will find links between all these Islamic muslim criminal gangs including Islamic muslim governments. They are all united against democracy, the west, christians and jews, and israel. The mere fact that the Islamic countries have done nothing to stop the Islamic jihad in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere in the world, means that they are supportive of it. Necessity makes the forbidden possible, is one of the highest laws in sharia. A lot of obfuscation going on, munura.

    As for Obama foreign policy, just like bombing Libya has created another Afghanistan, they were also backing the expansion of radical islam in Syria when they decided to help muslim criminals overthrow a democratically elected government by force. This is the only dilemma Obama faces. To act against Isis is to act against those he has been supporting all along.

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