Thursday, October 01, 2015

Russia Begins Airstrikes in Syria

I am no fan of President Vladimir Putin of Russia.  But the US is in an awkward situation in Syria.  Syria was named by President Bush as part of the "Axis of Evil" after 911 and a "state sponsor of terrorism".  Since that time it is no secret that Israel and the US were interested in removal of the Assad regime. 

In 2013, the US began arming the "Syrian Free Army" via Croatia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The US wished to support the "moderate rebels" in Syria who were to remove President Assad from power.  Instead, much of the arms somehow fell into the hands of more radical extremists groups in Syria such as al Qaeda, al Nusra, and ISIS/ISIL.  

Now the US is faced with a monster of its own creation in Syria.  ISIS has taken control of Eastern Syria and Western Iraq and created a huge humanitarian disaster displacing millions of regular everyday Muslims.  Now millions of Muslims are in refugee camps in Lebanon and flooding into Europe and the US to escape ISIS brutality.

The US has launched a military campaign against ISIS which has been largely ineffective. With all our satellite capability, drones, and smart bombs we gave thus far been unable to make gains against ISIS or Assad. No suprise that President Putin wonders if we have really been trying.

True or false, President Putin has expressed his belief that the US is secretly supporting ISIS to destabilize Syria and as a backdoor to remove Assad.  The US had been preparing for direct millitary action on Syria until Secretary Kerry suggested that Assad could avoid war by voluntarily giving up his chemical weaoons to an internatiinal body. Assad with Russia's help accepted, frustrating US plans. 

The US has also said it supports regional governments to help address these issues like Russia and China.  So, since the US has been ineffectual against ISIS, Russia moved aircraft and personnel into Syria to combat ISIS. Shouldn't the US be happy to work along side Russia?

Well, turns out that the US government is not happy about Russian involvememt in Syria. Russia has started airstrikes but the US says that Russia is nir atracking the correct targets. According to the US, Russia is hitting weapons depots of the "moderate rebels" and not ISIS and that Russia looks to be fighting to keep Assad in power than defeat ISIS. 

US officials also warn that Russia now needs to worry about ISIS terrorism in Russia because they have come out against ISIS.  This situation is danferous for the US because, if any ISIS-sponsored terrorism attack were to occur in Russia, true or false, Pres. Putin believes the US secretly is supporting ISIS like the Chechen Rebels and may blame the US for any ISIS attack.

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