The idea of the U.S. helping Syria’s Bashar al-Assad fight ISIS would come with a majorly embarrassing admission on the part of the Obama Administration that it chose to back the wrong horse in Syria, especially with all those red lines. Back in June, when Iran and Turkey were collaborating in Ankara, there was actually talk of the U.S. and Iran aligning in the fight against ISIS as well. That didn’t sit well with just about everyone as most political experts see Iran as the biggest threat to the U.S.
Now, the New York Times is reporting on an interview it had with a close adviser to Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah. What was revealed is that the U.S. is actually fighting its own proxy war in the region by arming the Lebanese Army, which works with… uh, Hezbollah:
BEIRUT, Lebanon — They are sworn enemies who insist they will never work together, but in practice, Hezbollah and the United States are already working — separately — on a common goal: to stop the extremist Islamic State from moving into Lebanon, where Hezbollah is the most powerful military and political player and currently shares with Washington an interest in stability.
Weeks after Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group and political party, helped repel an Islamic State attack on the town of Arsal on the Syrian border, new American weapons are flowing to help the Lebanese Army — which coordinates with Hezbollah — to secure the frontier. American intelligence shared with the army, according to Lebanese experts on Hezbollah, has helped the organization stop suicide attacks on its domain in southern Beirut.
“The international community has an interest in isolating the Syria crisis,” Mohammad Afif, Hezbollah’s newly appointed head of public relations and a media adviser to its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said last week in a rare conversation. In the course of the informal hourlong meeting, he shed light on how the party views the often contradictory tangle of alliances and interests in Syria’s civil war, many of them in flux as President Obama contemplates expanding his military campaign against the Islamic State from Iraq into Syria.
It’s now being learned that Iran is attempting to use the fight against ISIS – and offering assistance to the U.S. in the effort – to gain nuclear concessions:
Republican lawmakers are raising alarm that Secretary of State John Kerry is putting too much on the table in talks over Iran’s nuclear program — as Tehran reportedly tries to leverage its cooperation in the Islamic State crisis in return for nuclear concessions from the U.S. and its allies.
The White House denies that any such trade-off is in the works.
“The United States will not be in a position of trading aspects of Iran’s nuclear program to secure commitments to take on ISIL,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State. “These two issues are entirely separate.”
Of course, Josh Earnest never lies.
Back in June, there were reports that Iran and the U.S. would collaborate in Iraq against ISIS. This charge was given credibility by walk backs and denials by Iran’s leaders:
It is one of the more intriguing twists of the Iraq crisis: the prospect of cooperation between the US and Iran in the scramble to bolster Nouri al-Maliki’s beleaguered government against Sunni extremists seeking to set up an Islamic emirate.
Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has made clear how concerned Tehran is about the success of Isis fighters who have captured swaths of territory – even suggesting on Saturday that Iran might work with the US to halt their advance. On Sunday, however, the tone was markedly more cautious, with an Iranian official warning that “any foreign military intervention in Iraq” would only complicate the crisis. “Iraq has the capacity and necessary preparations for the fight against terrorism and extremism,” the foreign ministry insisted.
It does look, though, as if Maliki can count on some discreet help. Qasim Suleimani, commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has been visiting Baghdad – though Tehran quickly denied this. Suleimani has been a key, if shadowy, figure for the last decade, pulling strings and lubricating links with Iraqi politicians and militias, some with long experience in fighting US forces after the 2003 invasion.
In the weeks and months since, the Obama administration has denied working with Iran. This is belied by reports that it is providing weapons to the Lebanese army, which collaborates with Hezbollah, which is an arm of… Iran.
So, let’s recap. The U.S. is considering – or is doing so already – working with Iran to fight ISIS; it’s already assisting Hezbollah in the effort. As Shoebat.com has reported, the wheeling and dealing behind the scenes between Turkey and Iran earlier this year is about creating and exploiting situations to ultimately give Syria to Turkey and Iraq to Iran.
If the U.S. was truly concerned about preventing that – which it should be – the one regime it should cooperate with relative to ISIS is the one led by Bashar al-Assad in Syria. He is the one with far more immediate concerns, like self-preservation and keeping power.
Yet, the U.S. is deciding to arm the ‘moderate’ rebels who are ultimately no match for ISIS.
As Shoebat.com has reported, the real collaboration is taking place between Turkey and Iran. Turkey desperately wants the removal of Assad and Iran is willing to trade him away for Iraq.
The Obama administration’s actions suggest that it believes Syria’s Assad regime is worse than Turkey, Iran, Hezbollah and ISIS.