U.S. has no Syrian plan

A soldier from the Syrian government forces walks past severely damaged buildings in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO / STR

A couple of years back, and Syria was the main focus of global news. Today it is ISIS, both in Iraq and its neighbor. And Assad has taken advantage of this to carry on with his brutality unabated.

Tuesday, the target was Jobar, in the Damascus suburbs, and Wednesday it was apparently a school bus in Deir al-Zor. And every day it is Aleppo, which is being pounded by barrel bombs, and other sites across the country, struck with a ferocity seemingly reserved for civilians and moderate rebels – for when the regime occasionally decides to strike ISIS, it does so rather mutely.

Thankfully, it appears the U.S. and its partners have realized that even though they share a common enemy in ISIS, the Syrian regime cannot be trusted. But unfortunately it does not appear that they have any clear strategy to combat the threat posed by ISIS in Syria, and this is despite us knowing exactly where certain ISIS units are at any given time, as they constantly publicize their territorial gains. They are not an invisible enemy.

Perhaps if it weren’t for the two recent beheadings of American journalists by ISIS, the U.S. would not even be so concerned about what utter havoc the “caliphate” is wreaking.

But while trapped Iraqis are, rightly, receiving airdrops and support from the Iraqi army – which is in turn backed by the U.S. – the Syrian people are being abandoned to massacres committed both by the regime and ISIS.

Nearly 200,000 people have been killed, and still the West has no plan for Syria. The policymakers in Washington and London have shown themselves to have no sense of history, to have no regard for human life, and to be opportunistic and selfish above all else.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 04, 2014, on page 7.




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