Damascus, Syria (TFC) – Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has come forward with skepticism over America’s war on the Islamic State. Assad, who’s accepted aid from Russia to quell Syrian jihadist activities, feels the US isn’t serious in its fight. Assad’s speak volumes, echoing those of Iraqis who awoke to find ISIS on their doorstep over a year before.
In an NBC interview, Assad claimed recent Russian aid has “tipped the scales” in his favor. The so-called president, whose country has eaten itself for five years, even feels Syria can be reclaimed “within months.” When asked where the success came from, Daily Mail reports, Assad cited Russian president Vladimir Putin’s interest in suppressing jihad.
Assad went onto say “they’re [US] not serious”, and called American airstrikes “illegal.” He went as far as to call them “counter-productive”, saying “it’s not a question of how many airstrikes. It’s a question of achievement.”
Regime troops have struggled to fight a multi-sided war, particularly since ISIS entered the scene. Government forces were nearly pushed to exhaustion before Russian airstrikes and special forces arrived. As a result, the regime retook a town deeply entrenched by the Islamic State.“The reality”, Assad said, “is telling that, since the beginning of the American airstrikes, the terrorism has been expanding and prevailing.” Assad went onto say his regime wants to defeat Syrian jihad, whereas the US “wanted to manage those groups in order to topple the government in Syria.” Just recently, ISIS operatives used a US missile to down a Russian helicopter, Daily Mail reports. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming the chopper was raiding it’s positions.
Before you begin to doubt Assad, consider Iraqi militia leaders said the exact same thing last year. Qais al-Khazali, leader of a Iranian-backed paramilitary group in Iraq, felt the US “wants to manage the crisis” instead of solve it.
“It does not want to end Daesh (Islamic State)”, he told Reuters, “it wants to exploit Daesh to achieve its projects in Iraq and in the region.” At the time, al-Khazali claimed the US hadn’t ramped up airstrikes as it was telling it’s public. Al-Khazali’s group was amongst many in Iraq, and one of the most powerful following the fall of Iraq’s regular forces. Earlier groups he’s involved himself with have reputedly fought US forces still regarded as enemies.
Perhaps it was understandable a year ago to dismiss such claims from obscure Iraqi war chieftains. How do you react, though, to Syria’s leadership admitting the exact same thing a year later? What’s more possible: that these two orchestrated a mass information effort, or that they have a point? The answer to that is in the air, and place-holders are up to the reader to position.