The optics of an admission that the U.S. and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad are actually fighting the same enemy in ISIS continues to remain awkward for the Obama administration. Nonetheless, without Assad’s approval, the U.S. has begun launching air strikes on ISIS in Syria days after it was reported that Assad is actually bombing the so-called ‘moderate’ rebels the U.S. Congress voted to arm last week.
In reporting on the air strikes the liberal New York Times – known for echoing the Obama administration narrative – refers to ISIS as “Sunni militants of the Islamic State”, which is in direct opposition to the President’s insistence that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. The term ‘Sunni’ is synonymous with one form of Islam:
The United States and allies launched airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria early Tuesday, unleashing a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the militants’ de facto capital of Raqqa and along the porous Iraq border.
American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the militants, known as the Islamic State. American defense officials said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control. Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region.
The strikes are a major turning point in President Obama’s war against the Islamic State and open up a risky new stage of the American military campaign. Until now, the administration had bombed Islamic State targets only in Iraq, and had suggested it would be weeks if not months before the start of a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria.
As Shoebat.com relayed, just last week the New York Times reported that Assad was focusing his attention on bombing the ‘moderate’ rebels. That news came on the day that the U.S. House voted to arm those ‘moderate’ rebels and one day prior to the Senate doing the same.
Despite the U.S. air strikes on ISIS having the effect of aiding Assad, the Syrian president did not approve them:
The strikes in Syria occurred without the approval of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whose government, unlike Iraq, did not ask the United States for help against the Sunni militant group. Mr. Obama has repeatedly called on Mr. Assad to step down because of chemical weapons attacks and violence against his own people, and defense officials said Mr. Assad had not been told in advance of the strikes.
But administration officials acknowledge that American efforts to roll back the Sunni militant group in Syria cannot help but aid Mr. Assad, whose government is also a target of the Islamic State.
Welcome to the convoluted fog of war. A year ago, the Obama administration tried desperately to launch air strikes on Assad for a chemical attack the rebels – with the help of Turkey – were most likely responsible for. One year later, the U.S. is bombing ‘Sunni militants’ who identify themselves as ‘the Islamic State’ but whom Obama says have nothing to do with Islam. The U.S. air strikes which have the effect of helping Assad were not approved by Assad, who is bombing ‘moderate’ rebels the U.S. Congress has voted to arm.