Great news: Obama Syria policy driving anti-Assad rebels into the arms of IS

President Obama's Syria policy is giving unintended benefits – to the enemy.

The Guardian reports that our bombing campaign in Syria is driving some anti-Assad rebels into the waiting arms of the Islamic State.  The defectors include members of the "moderate" Free Syrian Army – you know, the guys we were going to train and arm.

US air strikes in Syria are encouraging anti-regime fighters to forge alliances with or even defect to Islamic State (Isis), according to a series of interviews conducted by the Guardian.

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Islamic military groups are joining forces with Isis, which has gained control of swaths of Syria and Iraq and has beheaded six western hostages in the past few months.

Some brigades have transferred their allegiance, while others are forming tactical alliances or truces. Support among civilians also appears to be growing in some areas as a result of resentment over US-led military action.

“Isis now is like a magnet that attracts large numbers of Muslims,” said Abu Talha, who defected from the FSA a few months ago and is now in negotiations with other fighters from groups such as the al-Nusra Front to follow suit.

Assam Murad, a fighter from a 600-strong dissident FSA brigade near Homs said: “There’s no way we would fight Isis after the US military campaign against them.”

A third man, Abu Zeid, the commander of an FSA brigade near Idlib and a defector from President Bashar al-Assad’s army, said: “All the locals here wonder why the US coalition never came to rescue them from Assad’s machine guns, but run to fight Isis when it took a few pieces of land. We were in a robust fight against Isis for confiscating our liberated areas, but now, if we are not in an alliance, we are in a truce with them.”

These and other Syrian fighters told the Guardian in interviews by phone and Skype that the US campaign is turning the attitudes of Syrian opposition groups and fighters in favour of Isis. Omar Waleed, an FSA fighter in Hama, north of Damascus, said: “I’m really scared that eventually most of the people will join Isis out of their disappointment with the US administration. Just have a look on social media websites, and you can see lots of people and leaders are turning to the side of Isis.

“We did not get any weapons from the US to fight the regime for the last three years. Only now US weapons arrived for fighting Isis.”

Time for another "in-depth review" of our Syria policy – the third, if you're keeping track.  Don't worry.  Our brilliant foreign policy team will manage to explain this to the American people and Congress...just as soon as they can come up with suitable spin to put on the bad news. 

It's hard to imagine how much worse things could be in Syria – at least until we come up with a new, improved policy.  By the time Obama and Kerry are through, more rebels will be fighting us than are fighting Assad.

President Obama's Syria policy is giving unintended benefits – to the enemy.

The Guardian reports that our bombing campaign in Syria is driving some anti-Assad rebels into the waiting arms of the Islamic State.  The defectors include members of the "moderate" Free Syrian Army – you know, the guys we were going to train and arm.

US air strikes in Syria are encouraging anti-regime fighters to forge alliances with or even defect to Islamic State (Isis), according to a series of interviews conducted by the Guardian.

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Islamic military groups are joining forces with Isis, which has gained control of swaths of Syria and Iraq and has beheaded six western hostages in the past few months.

Some brigades have transferred their allegiance, while others are forming tactical alliances or truces. Support among civilians also appears to be growing in some areas as a result of resentment over US-led military action.

“Isis now is like a magnet that attracts large numbers of Muslims,” said Abu Talha, who defected from the FSA a few months ago and is now in negotiations with other fighters from groups such as the al-Nusra Front to follow suit.

Assam Murad, a fighter from a 600-strong dissident FSA brigade near Homs said: “There’s no way we would fight Isis after the US military campaign against them.”

A third man, Abu Zeid, the commander of an FSA brigade near Idlib and a defector from President Bashar al-Assad’s army, said: “All the locals here wonder why the US coalition never came to rescue them from Assad’s machine guns, but run to fight Isis when it took a few pieces of land. We were in a robust fight against Isis for confiscating our liberated areas, but now, if we are not in an alliance, we are in a truce with them.”

These and other Syrian fighters told the Guardian in interviews by phone and Skype that the US campaign is turning the attitudes of Syrian opposition groups and fighters in favour of Isis. Omar Waleed, an FSA fighter in Hama, north of Damascus, said: “I’m really scared that eventually most of the people will join Isis out of their disappointment with the US administration. Just have a look on social media websites, and you can see lots of people and leaders are turning to the side of Isis.

“We did not get any weapons from the US to fight the regime for the last three years. Only now US weapons arrived for fighting Isis.”

Time for another "in-depth review" of our Syria policy – the third, if you're keeping track.  Don't worry.  Our brilliant foreign policy team will manage to explain this to the American people and Congress...just as soon as they can come up with suitable spin to put on the bad news. 

It's hard to imagine how much worse things could be in Syria – at least until we come up with a new, improved policy.  By the time Obama and Kerry are through, more rebels will be fighting us than are fighting Assad.