Monday, September 21, 2015

US decides to support Russia in the fight against "Islamic state" in Syria

US decides to support Russia in the fight against "Islamic state" in Syria

Published on Sep 21, 2015

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Free Syrian Army A fighter fires an anti-aircraft weapon toward warplanes loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Kaferzita, Hama countryside, Sept. 19, 2014. (photo by REUTERS / Khalil Ashawi)

US support Syrians Do airstrikes in Syria?

But do Syrians want peace or US airstrikes?


US airstrikes Syrians worry about; Iran could be bridge to Syria in international coalition against the Islamic State (IS); Syrian Revolutionary Forces reject report of pact with IS; Syrian Kurds lose ground to IS; Claims leadership in Iran battle against terrorists IS.
Author Week in Review Posted September 21, 2014
Translator Inga Michaeli

As a wary US Congress passed a resolution authorizing the Barack Obama administration to arm Syrian rebels against the Islamic State (IS), and as US military planners consider airstrikes against IS in Syria, Al-Monitor's Syria Pulse covered how Syrians, suffering from more than three years of war, might react. Khaled Attalah reports from Damascus that there Syrians prefer a political solution to the war rather than US airstrikes. The National Coordinating Committee for Democratic Change in Syria rejects US intervention in Syria, even with the Syrian government's approval. Attalah writes, "After mobilizing its allies from around the world, the White House hopes that by using force and launching airstrikes, the IS threat will disappear. However, the Syrian people are not only hoping to be rid of this terrorist group, but also the bloody bottleneck they have been living through for more than three years. "The Al Reporting From Bab-region, an IS stronghold east of Aleppo, Al-Monitor columnist Edward Dark writes that the prospect of US airstrikes is being greeted with more enthusiasm than anxiety, and could redound to the advantage of IS.

Dark speculates that "it would be foolish to believe that US military action against IS is popular here or will go down well, especially when civilian casualties start to mount. On the contrary, it will most likely prove counterproductive, stoking anti-Western resentment among the population and increasing support for IS, driving even more recruits to its ranks. The terror group knows this well, which is why it is secretly overjoyed at the prospect of military action against it. In its calculations, the loss of fighters to strikes is than outweighed by more the outpouring of support it expects both locally and on the international jihadist scene. "In A separate report from Aleppo, questions the wisdom and timing of an expanded Dark train-and-equip approach to US- and Saudi-backed opposition groups.

"The failure of these groups to make substantial gains against the regime or the jihadists despite a large investment in arms, funds and training begs the question of what has now changed. If they were unreliable then, what makes them a viable option now? Not only were some of them merely unreliable, but they also openly collaborated and allied with al-Qaeda-linked groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, or through sheer incompetence and corruption allowed Western-supplied weapons and equipment to fall into the hands of extremists. Indeed, the stigma of corruption and ineptitude permeates most of the Syrian rebel factions designated as 'moderates,' and some have even been involved outright in serious war crimes. This makes them not only an unreliable ally on the ground, but also a potentially very dangerous one. "

That the Dark Observes moderate Syrian opposition groups are not to address address address close e-ee-winning "hearts and minds" in Syria. IS, while a bigger loser in the hearts and minds category, and despite its brutality, has nonetheless brought some degree of order and services to the areas it controls in Aleppo:

"The rise and popularity of IS seems to have more to do with the failings of the Syrian opposition and the fractious rebel factions than with the Islamic State's own strength. For almost three years, the opposition and the local rebels had failed to provide any semblance of civil administration or public services to the vast areas they controlled. This lawless chaos added to the people's misery, already exacerbated by the horrors of war. In the end, they rallied around the only group that managed to give them what they wanted: the State Islamic. But now, it seems a new fear is rising among the people: the specter of war against IS, a war they feel threatens not only their lives, but also their livelihoods and the tenuous normality they've grown accustomed to. "

Dark concludes that the most effective of all bad alternatives to defeat IS, which is the US priority in Syria, might be for the United States to reach a tactical understanding with the Syrian government: "The only alternative then appears to be unpalatable and an unholy with the Syrian alliance regime, the only force on the ground right now capable of taking on and defeating IS with any degree of success, "writes Dark.

Kerry says role for Iran in battle with IS While the Obama administration has ruled out an alliance with Syria, Iran could be a bridge to Damascus within an international coalition against IS and in a subsequent political transition in Syria. Of US State Secretary John Kerry, chairing a UN Security Council meeting on Iraq Sept. 19, said, "The coalition required to eliminate [IS] is not only, or even primarily, military in nature. It must be comprehensive and include close collaboration multiple lines of across effort. ... There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran. "

This column suggested in February that Iran and Saudi Arabia could join a new alliance among regional counterterrorism Syria and its neighbors, and in May proposed that the United States should test Iran on its declared willingness to battle extremists in Syria.

Ali Hashem reports this week that Iran has a vital interest in defeating IS, whatever the United States decides to do. "Iran's problem is not related to how and where to fight IS, but rather over the conflict between its national security and its regional security , "Hashim writes. "IS has had a base in Iraq - Jalawla - as address address address close e-ee-as 38 kilometers (23.6 miles) from the Iranian border, and Iran wants to get rid of the self-styled IS at any price. It does not matter if this happens with the help of the Iraqi army, the Shiite militias, Lebanese Hezbollah, the Kurdish peshmerga or the United States, as long as there are results on the ground. Good example is A the breaking of the siege around the town of Amirli in northeast Iraq. The operation was the result of US-Iranian indirect cooperation that ended with an obvious success. On the ground, pro-Iranian Shiite militias along with the Iraqi army advanced US fighter jets while the IS bombed posts. "

States States Foreign Minister Deputy Iranian Hossein Amir-Abdollahian Hashim told that Iran is not "interested in taking part in any show-off conferences that claim to combat terrorism." "They [US officials] want to build an Iraqi army, train fighters and Syrian on whether they decide are going to strike inside Syria or not; meanwhile, Iran is fighting the war helping its allies, clear on the general strategy, and we know in'll win we the end, "said Abdollahian. SRF opposition forces still battling IS Khatieb al-Mohammed, reporting from Marea, outside Aleppo, on the front lines between Syrian Revolutionary Forces (SRF) under the command of Jamal Maarouf and IS, reports that the refuted SRF had signed a nonaggression pact with IS.

Observed firsthand the Khatieb deployment of hundreds of SRF SRF interviewed fighters and military commanders on their ongoing operations against IS. Syrian government forces attempted to assassinate Maarouf, who is backed by Saudi Arabia, on Sept. 17, killing his daughter in the operation. Khatieb Writes, "The attempt on Maarouf's life is a message from the regime to the United States that it will not hesitate to target US allies, after Washington snubbed the regime by deciding to fund the Syrian rebels in the fight against IS. "

Syrian Kurds under siege by IS One of the most effective Syrian armed groups, the Syrian People's Protection Units (YPG), is losing ground in the battle with IS forces in the Ain al-Arab (Kobani in Kurdish) region of Syria, the military arm of the Democratic Union party (PYD), forcing thousands of Syrian Kurds to flee into Turkey.

Amberin Zaman reports that US and international support for the PYD and YPG, which has support among Syrian Kurds, who number at least 10% of Syria's population of 23 million, has lagged because of the group's affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of Turkey. The United States considers the PKK a terrorist group, and Turkey has been unwilling to grant the PKK an edge in either its peace negotiations with the PKK or in Syria. However, Zaman writes, "The PKK and the PYD / YPG are continuing their battle for global acceptance. In a move apparently calculated to provide the Obama administration with a fig leaf for future cooperation, the YPG recently sealed an anti-IS alliance with various affiliated with the groups Free Syrian Army (FSA), founding what they call Joint Action Center the. Its purported goal is to liberate all territories held by IS in Syria. "IS has reportedly taken 40 villages from YPG forces in recent fighting.

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