Western politicians continue with the narrative that Russia is not targeting IS and seem to be targeting moderate rebels and propping up the Assad government.
They also reaffirm the policy of supporting moderate rebels within Syria against the Syrian Arab Army and IS.
Russia is definitely attempting to prop up the Assad government, they have geo-political interests and a longstanding relationship with it.
Thinking that Russia was going to pack up and leave was naive at best, especially since the souring of relations following events in Crimea and Ukraine.
With this in mind there are a few questions that need to be answered by western politicians in order to ensure that the position taken is for Syria’s long term benefit and will not perpetuate the conflict.
- Some of these questions are found below:
Can Michael Fallon and Ashton Carter confirm the names of the groups or coalitions that are deemed moderate by the West?
Can Michael Fallon and Ashton Carter confirm the total number of fighters operating in the moderate groups and coalitions?
Can Michael Fallon and Ashton Carter confirm the names of Islamic fundamentalist groups and coalitions operating in Syria?
Can Michael Fallon and Ashton Carter confirm the total number of Islamic fundamentalist fighters operating in these groups or coalitions?
- Finally with answers provided for the above:
Can Michael Fallon and Ashton Carter ensure that if IS is targeted only and Assad’s government is allowed to fall, that the moderate rebels will have enough man power and fighting ability to defeat all Islamic fundamentalist groups, therefore ensuring a moderate government is installed?
Bombing only IS and leaving every other opposition group to remove the Assad government will inevitably cause a shift of focus from opposition groups battling against IS and the Assad government now defeated, to a battle between extreme and moderate groups.
Who would win and how long would this take? that depends on answers to the questions above.
If moderate rebels come out on top, it’s possible there would be a continued insurgency by extreme groups regardless.
If Western policy wins out, let’s see if this personal view turns out to be accurate or inaccurate.