According to a Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star, operatives from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are joining with radical Islamic groups to fight in military operations along the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Not often on the same side, the FSA, al-Nusra Front and ISIS entered a tenuous alliance of convenience to fight Assad-aligned forces in the badlands surrounding Arsal.
“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade, told The Daily Star.
Previously, the FSA and the Islamist groups have until now only had limited coordination.
And this raises serious concerns after President Obama’s speech on Wednesday night where he announced an increase of American airstrikes in Syria.
Obama said the United States was recruiting a global coalition to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the militants, known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven,” he said, using the alternate name of ISIS, ISIL.
Also during the speech, which sounded like George W. Bush’s previous speeches, the President outlined a plan to bolster American training and arming of moderate Syrian rebels to fight the militants.
As previously noted, there is no real distinction between moderate rebels and ISIS. In fact, there are an endless parade of reports that the U.S.-supported “moderate rebels” in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have joined ISIS. See here, here and here.
Obama’s plan, which mirrors the neoconservative strategy in Washington, seems to strengthen ISIS more by indirectly giving them arms and training.
Is bombing ISIS just a preconceived plan to bomb Syria in order to topple Assad?
Last year Americans protested and demanded that there be “no war with Syria.”
Obama backed off.
But the Nobel Peace Prize winning President and neoconservatives seemed to find a way to gain support for yet another unconstitutional war in the Middle East.