10 Civilians Injured in Al Arish Blast
US To Target AssadWhite House realizes its strategy in Syria has not worked and that IS cannot be defeated until Asad has gone.
US President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor asked the President to present a new strategy for the war against IS, after reaching the understanding that the current method has failed. According to the reports, the only way in order to defeat Islamic State is to overthrow Assad as well and that it is not possible to operate against the terror group in both Iraq and Syria separately.
Over the last week, the National Security Council held four meetings in the White House, which was attended by top officials including President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry. “The purpose of these meetings was to examine how we are going to coordinate our strategy against IS in Syria. The President asked how to examine how things so they fit together. The long war in Syria together with the desire to defeat IS was until now separated and it was not the correct action,” a senior level US official stated.
Regarding the Civil War in Syria, Washington, DC had hoped that training and arming moderate rebels to fight against IS will also allow them to defeat Assad, but this strategy has not proved itself on the ground. The moderate rebels have been fighting on two fronts, both against Assad and the Islamists, resulting in them failing to effectively fight against both. “Ultimately, the Iraq first strategy did not work,” the senior level source stated.
“The Syrian opposition has proven that it cannot deal with IS, which is still in northern Syria despite the incessant fighting,” he stated. One of the options now under consideration is the establishment of restricted flight zones south of the Turkish border or changing the support for moderate rebels to include increased US assistance.
US actions against IS until now have been focused in Iraq, mainly due to pressure from US allies that operate in Syria itself and also not to worsen the bloody civil war there. This mistake did not take into consideration that IS does not recognize the border between Iraq and Syria, arguing that the border is the product of western colonialism and the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 was a secret agreement signed between Great Britain, Russia, and France in order to define their spheres of influence in the Middle East following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during WWI. While Russia was initially part of the agreement, they then exposed it following the Bolshevik Revolution, causing a major rift in Arab-Western relations.
The agreement ignored the ethnic compositions on the ground in the countries that they created, forcing many peoples that have nothing in common to be part of the same artificially created country, while nations with a solid identity like the Kurds were left without a country to call their own. It also negated the promises the British made to the Arabs in the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence and the Zionist Movement in the Balfour Declaration.
According to an IS video mentioned in the International Business Times, one jihadist declared upon uniting areas of Syria and Iraq under their self-declared Caliphate, “This is not the first border we will break. We will break other borders as well. There is no nationality. We are all Muslims. There is just one country,” in reference to the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 that created the Iraqi and Syrian borders of today.
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