Weapons Obama sends to Free Syrian Army will be used to fight Assad, not ISIS
The chaotic response of the Obama administration to ISIS is creating disasters wherever it operates. Turkey, a former ally (though still a member of NATO), now stands as an obstacle to action against ISIS. After two years of refusing to arm the Free Syrian Army in its rebellion against the brutal Assad regime, President Obama now pins his hopes on strengthening a force that he ridiculed only weeks ago as pharmacists, farmers, and physicians.
But there is every indication that President Obama’s great hope in fighting ISIS, the Free Syrian Army, is far more focused on defeating the Assad regime than on defeating ISIS. They may even join forces with ISIS, resulting in even more US weapons in ISIS hands. Jordan Schachtel writes on Breitbart:
The US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), Al Nusra Front, and the Islamic State have paired together in order to fight President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Armed Forces, according to statements from multiple commanders from within the FSA.
“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in… Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, a commander of a Free Syrian Army brigade. “Our battle is with the Assad regime, and it is on Syrian lands only,” he told to Lebanon’s Daily Star.
According to another Free Syrian Army commander, the combining of forces with the Islamist terror outfits was needed in order to achieve the greater good. “We have reached a point where we have to collaborate with anyone against unfairness and injustice,” said FSA commander Abu Khaled. “Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values,” the commander concluded.
Writing in the Daily Beast, Josh Rogin notes:
Oubai Shahbandar, senior advisor to the Syrian Opposition Coalition, told The Daily Beast that it’s unrealistic to ask the moderate rebels to use U.S. weapons against ISIS but not against Assad. In major battles like in Aleppo, ISIS and Assad are working together. So you can’t fight one without fighting the other, Shahbandar added. (It’s a point of view backed by many senior State Department and Pentagon officials, who agree with the FSA that Assad is the magnet for the terrorists and that Assad's continued rule only perpetuates the ISIS problem.)
Although they sometimes clash, the Assad regime has mostly avoided fighting ISIS, letting them battle the other opposition groups unfettered. ISIS also sells oil from its vast oil fields in northern and eastern Syria directly to the Assad regime for cash. These transactions have continued, even as ISIS has begun to attack government sites, like the Taqba air base.
It’s a hall of mirrors situation, with ISIS cooperating with and fighting Assad, and with the Free Syrian Army fighting Assad and only sometimes fighting ISIS, but often cooperating with them.
In this environment, the only way to succeed is to have a detailed, agile, and subtle response, guided by a clear vision of what needs to be done. In other words, the very opposite of what the Obama administration is able to provide, lurching, as it does, from opposition to arming, even ridiculing the FSA, to pinning hopes on them as the boots on the ground that America will not provide.
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit rises the perfectly reasonable expectation that American weapons will once again end up in the hands of ISIS, just as taxpayer-provided brand new Toyota trucks ended up parading about with ISIS flags and warriors did:
It’s one thing for an incompetent administration to bungle domestic policies such as Obamacare. The consequences, while horrible, do not imperil our survival as a nation. But bungling national security by placing power in the hands of a man who believes that he knows more about policy than his policy advisers can eventually hand control of the world’s fate to savages who would behead us if we do not submit.
David Haynes, the next victim of ISIS