One of the key components of the strategy President Obama outlined in his speech earlier this week to fight ISIS was to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. Obama and others like Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) assure us that the Syrian rebels are “vetted moderates” who only want to bring freedom to Syria.
Well, this component of the Obama strategy appears to be falling apart. ISIS and some of the “moderate” rebel factions have signed a non-aggression pact pledging to concentrate on fighting the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
The Huffington Post has more:
According to Agence France-Presse, ISIS and a number of moderate and hard-line rebel groups have agreed not to fight each other so that they can focus on taking down the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Other sources say the signatories include a major U.S. ally linked to the Free Syrian Army. Moreover, the leader of the Free Syrian Army said Saturday that the group would not take part in U.S. plans for destroying the Islamic State until it got assurances on toppling Assad.
The deal between ISIS and the moderate Syrian groups casts doubt over President Barack Obama's freshly announced strategy to arm and train the groups against ISIS.
The AFP report cited information from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based group monitoring the Syrian civil war, which said parties to the agreement “promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime.” The term Nussayri refers to the Alawite ethnic group that Assad and many of his supporters belong to. AFP said the agreement was signed in a suburb of the Syrian capital, where ISIS has a strong presence.
This comes as the Obama administration is having problems assembling the coalition it promised to fight ISIS. In fact, if the Syrian rebels continue to exit the fight, it will reduce the “broad coalition” to fight ISIS down to a grand total of four members.
As the Obama administration continues to fail to assemble a coalition and some of the coalition partners continue to be unreliable at best, it maybe time to consider a change of strategy. This current “strategy” appears to be falling apart before it even gets put into place.