As world leaders convene in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton told NBC News’ Chuck Todd she would pursue a fight against ISIS while at the same time working to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“We should not forget that there are just two guilty partners that are the sole reason for this humanitarian disaster – the Assad regime and Isis”. Alexei Malashenko, a leading expert on Russia-Middle East relations at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said recently that the depth of Russia’s relationships with both Iran and Saudi Arabia might be overstated.
Even before the announcement from Baghdad, Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government has appeared sympathetic to the Tehran-Damascus-Moscow partnership.
USA intelligence has observed the possible staging of multiple rocket launch systems at Russian ports, which could be loaded onto ships bound for Syria.
Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken conceded, with some understatement, that the train- and-equip program of Syrian fighters to fight ISIS is “not where we want it to be”.
That seems to be changing, as the Iraqi military announced plans to increase cooperation with both Syria and Russian Federation, along with Iran, in an attempt to better coordinate the regional war against ISIS.
“Now the agreement is that there will be much fuller cooperation [between these countries, groups]… and this will act as a pretext under which Russian planes can fly over Iraq to carry supplies to [the Syrian regime]”.
Jaafari said Iraq’s stance towards Assad was neutral, since “Syrian is divided” over the regime. Earlier this week during a hearing in front of United States lawmakers, Petraeus urged president Obama to credibly threaten Assad’s air force as part of a renewed strategy for tackling the growing crisis which has seen tens of thousands of people flee to Europe. “So we stood neutral – not with or against”.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who oversees the prosecutions of ISIS recruits in the States, said that one of the fruits of these efforts is that Interpol now has some 4,000 profiles of foreign fighters.
The administration characterizes Iraq as a key member of its 60-plus country anti-ISIS coalition. Carlin said 250 Americans have traveled or attempted to travel to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
The French government has insisted that while it is part of the U.S.-led coalition, France is deciding independently who and what to hit in Syria.
“Absolutely”, Kirby replied, describing Iraq as “staunch and steadfast” and “valued” member. “Why aren’t we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants?”
According to the report, a USA chemical warfare team accompanied by 60 SAS soldiers crossed into Syria from Iraq to find the chlorine warehouse, said to be situated in a heavily fortified IS stronghold some 80 kilometers from the Iraqi border.