0435 GMT February 18, 2020
The US strategy seems rather vague. On one hand, Washington beats the drums of war on ISIL by bombing its position in Syria and Iraq, and on the other hand, it seeks to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by arming and funding militants fighting Damascus. Political expert Kavous Seyyed Emami believes the US strategy against ISIL cannot eliminate the group in the short time.
What objectives does the US pursue by forging an international coalition against ISIL?
The rapid advances of ISIL in northern Iraq, a country the US has many interests, sounded the alarm that the terrorist group will soon grow into a serious threat for America's old allies in the region like Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf. Since the US has introduced itself as the hero of fighting terrorism, it rushed to create a military coalition against the Takfiri group.
Will the collation be able to defeat ISIL in the short run?
The military coalition aims to carry out two measures. One is to launch airstrikes on ISIL strongholds in Syria and Iraq and the other is to block routes of financial supports coming from some Arab states. The coalition will likely have limited success because both measures are not enough to take out the terrorist group anytime soon. That’s why the US has announced that the full destruction of ISIL requires at least three years.
Congress has approved President Barack Obama’s 500-million-dollar plan to aid "moderate Syrian rebels" in the fight against ISIL terrorists. What's the US true intention for doing so?
The real motive behind funding Syria militants seems to be strengthening them against the Assad government. Obama actually tried to address Democrats' concerns that fighting ISIL should not be interpreted as helping Assad. However, this policy will not ultimately reinforce 'moderate rebels' position because military aid could fall into wrong hands. In the past, we witnessed that military equipment supplied to the Syrian opposition ultimately ended up in the hands of extremists and Al-Qaeda linked groups like ISIL and Al-Nusra Front.
How do you see the future of Syria?
The Syrian government has lost control of parts of the country, nearly 40 percent of the population has been internally and externally displaced, and the country's infrastructure has been damaged. This situation is very unlikely to change soon. The current situation could be blamed on both government's improper response to the opposition voice and foreign interference.
Not ISIL, MICE - militant Islamic caliphate extremists