If you’re Bashar al-Assad, it doesn’t matter if you bomb ISIS or the ‘moderate’ FSA rebels. Both are attempting to overthrow you and to varying degrees, each brand of rebel is aligning with the other to do it, no matter what John McCain says; ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is a truism birthed long before even him.
In a week where both Houses of the U.S. Congress have voted to arm the ‘moderate’ rebels, Assad may be onto an interesting strategy. If he bombs the ‘moderate’ rebels out of existence, ISIS will end up getting all those arms from the U.S. by default, unless shipments are halted.
The New York Times reports:
Insurgents of all stripes, except for the Islamic State group, say the Syrian government appears to be stepping up its attacks on them ahead of the threatened American air campaign. Pro-government and antigovernment analysts say Mr. Assad has an interest in eliminating the more moderate rebels, to make sure his forces are the only ones left to benefit on the ground from any weakening of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Mr. Assad has maintained from the start of the conflict that he and his allies are the only force in Syria capable of battling the extremists effectively. But Islamic State activists in Homs said on Wednesday that there had been no recent government airstrikes against the group, adding to opposition suspicions that Mr. Assad prefers to focus on attacking his other opponents while letting the Islamic State’s unchecked brutality argue the case to Syria and the world that his rule is the best alternative.
The Faith in God Brigade in Talbiseh is probably one of the most moderate forces left on the battlefield. Many others have been radicalized by years of inconclusive violence and the influence of foreign fighters and deep-pocketed Islamist donors. For several months recently, parts of the brigade operated under Harakat al-Hazm, an insurgent umbrella group that has received American-made TOW missiles and other aid that the United States has tried to keep out of the hands of more extreme groups.
When translated into Arabic, the Faith in God Brigade is: Katibat al-iman Billah.
Another potential consequence here is that if ISIS is on the sidelines, we should get to see the Assad v. ‘moderate’ rebels fight that the pseudo-intellectuals in Congress say will go to the FSA if they’re armed. That being said, if the ‘moderate’ rebels who aren’t destroyed are driven into the arms of ISIS, the U.S. could end up on the side of ISIS in a proxy war.
Can’t you just hear the McCainiacs now if that happens? We’ll be told the reason the ‘moderate’ rebels were defeated is because Assad destroyed them.
Wouldn’t that prove that Assad is the better option to defeat ISIS?