SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- President Barack Obama rejects any alliance with the Syrian government as the United States intensifies its operations against the ISIL terrorist organization.
Obama claimed Sunday that Bashar al-Assad has lost legitimacy to lead Syria and any cooperation with him in battling the Takfiri terrorists would backfire.
“For us to then make common cause with him against ISIL would only turn more Sunnis in Syria in the direction of supporting ISIL and would weaken our coalition,” he told reporters after a G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
The US president maintained that communication with the Assad government was limited to informing them that if Syrian airspace was used in US airstrikes, “they would be well advised not to take us on.”
“But beyond that, there’s no expectation that we are going to in some ways enter an alliance with Assad,” Obama said. “He is not credible in that country.”
Reports this week suggested that Obama has asked his national security team to review the strategy toward Syria after concluding that the ISIL terrorist group may not be defeated with President Assad in power. The review order is seen as a tacit admission that the strategy is not working.
However, Obama insisted that his strategy was being reviewed all the time and that he is not accelerating the policy.
The US president first ordered airstrikes against ISIL targets in September, using Syrian airspace. The air campaign is an extension of air raids in Iraq conducted since August.
Obama has also tasked the CIA and the Pentagon to arm and train “moderate” militants into a proxy ground army against both ISIL and the Syrian government.
The latest setbacks to that strategy came this month, when US-backed militant groups were routed by Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s primary affiliate in Syria.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the Obama administration is preparing plans to escalate the CIA’s role in assisting the “moderate” militant groups, while the Pentagon is gearing up to establish its own training bases.
“We need a little more urgency in helping the moderates, and the agency was viewed as the best way to get that going fast,” said a senior US official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The United States and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.