Containing ISIS — II

November 29, 2014 10:40 PM

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The US will train a militia of ‘moderate rebels’ from Syria, 5,000 fighters to dislodge President Bashar al-Assad. These moderate rebels will be trained by US experts in Saudi Arabia. No clear definition of a moderate rebel has been provided but one can imagine it will be one of the same groups previously supported since 2011 and launched by Saudi Arabia to oust President Bashar al-Assad. The Arab Spring in Syria, apparently to oust President Assad, turned sour and encouraged al Qaeda and its allied groups who commandeered the weapons of the moderates either through coercion or conquest. Access to weapons by militants has made civil strife in Syria a prolonged and violent affair. There is a strong possibility that these weapons belonging to the moderates will again fall into the hands of Islamic State (IS).

The US’s strategy of airstrikes has been successful in averting a human tragedy by protecting the minorities and Kurds, both in Iraq and Syria. This military strategy has succeeded in containing the rapid advance of IS. Large parts of Baiji’s urban centre and parts of the oil refinery have been take...

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