More on “THE COALITION”
Last week there was a meeting in Paris of leaders from around the world to solidify a global group of countries who will play a role in THE COALITION to CONFRONT, DEGRADE AND DEFEAT the extreme terror group The Islamic State. Missing from this conversation were Iran, and Syria (either the Assad Government or the Syrian Free Interim Government).
According to Face the Nation on September 14th, Secretary John Kerry said, “I can tell you right here and now that we have countries in this region, countries outside of this region, in addition to the United States, all of whom are prepared to engage in military assistance, in actual strikes, if that is what it requires … Frankly, lets consider what we have to do to degrade and defeat ISIL.”
Secretary Kerry said yesterday that the United States will take ISIS on and destroy them. Prime Minister David Cameron has said that ISIS is pure evil and he has pledged to defeat them. In response, ISIS threatened the life of another kidnapped British aid worker it claims to be holding, 47-year-old Alan Henning.
DESTROY & DEFEAT – Coalition Commitment Highlights
Overall there are now 40 countries who have made a commitment to the coalition to help carry out “THE STRATEGY”
- Australia has committed to actively join the coalition. Prime Minister Abbott said troops will contribute to humanitarian efforts in the region. It has not yet been decided if Australia’s Special Forces troops would engage in combat as part of the US-led coalition, but Mr. Abbott says not at this time.
- 400 air force personnel and 200 members of the Special Forces.
- 8 F/A18 combat aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail Early Warning and Control aircraft and a KC-30A Tanker and Transport aircraft to be based out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- France President Francois Hollande was the host of the international conference in Paris, to discuss ways of supporting the Iraqi government’s efforts at combating ISIS. Additionally, they have committed to provide war planes and manpower to carry-out Air Strikes against the Islamic State.
- Germany has decided not to commit to participate directly with the coalition although they do see ISIS as a direct threat to their homeland.
- Germany’s contribution will be a direct relationship to Kurdistan, where they will provide training to the military and supply weapons. This relationship is to begin immediately.
- German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced that the government had banned all activities related to ISIS, describing the extremists as a threat to Germany and the rest of Europe.
- Turkey responded to the coalition that they will take a quiet role behind the scenes. Turkey’s explanation is complicated. Their highest priority is pushing the Assad regime out. In their effort to reach this goal, they have been tolerant of anti-Assad Islamist fighters taking refuge on its border with Syria. Unfortunately, the very people they have been tolerant of now hold 46 Turkish diplomat hostages. Additionally, Turkey’s assessment that the ISIS Islamist fighters were Anti-Assad has proved untrue.
- Turkey’s soldiers will not be sent into combat
- NATO will be declined the use of its bases or territories to launch air attacks.
Many times it has been said that a coalition without Arab State participation will never work. This remark was made again on September 16th at the Senate Armed Services Committee. In addition to the Syrians on the ground, 10 Arab States have committed to participation including UAE members, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Saudi Arabia has committed to train 5000 Syrian rebels in addition to other roles. As “THE STRATEGY” is more fully developed, the role of these Arab States will be more clearly integrated.
It is clear that the legislature has differences of opinion on whether the United States-built coalition can succeed without putting “boots on the ground.” There is also continuing doubt whether there is an identifiable “moderate opposition” in Syria that can be relied upon to coordinate with.
Kerry’s Apology to Syrian Freedom Fighters
Secretary Kerry made a point of saying, “The Syrian opposition is on the ground and one of the regrettable things is, it has been fighting ISIL by itself over the course of the last couple of years. And it’s one of the reasons that they’ve had a difficult battle. Now, with the air support and other efforts from other countries, they will be augmented in their capacity.” The President has sent a clear message to Assad stating he better keep his warplanes out of our [Coalitions] way during the campaign to CONFRONT, DEGRADE AND DEFEAT the Islamic State. The message was clear, if you get in our way we will engage you.
Many US legislators say these valiant Freedom Fighters are Doctors, Lawyers or Farmers and know nothing about tactical warfare. They will tell you they aren’t faced with the textbook tactical war. The war in Syria is different – it is a war against terrorists.
Fact: The soldiers of the Assad regime who were dignified soldiers defected long ago and joined the Free Syrian Army. They are among the FSA officers and the regular guys in the battles. The Free Syrian Army is a homogenous group represented by Sunnis, Alawites, Druze, and Kurds!
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS), a coalition of groups representing over 100,000 Syrian Americans, participated in a briefing for the House of Representatives on the structure and capabilities of the moderate Syrian opposition. Mouaz Moustafa, member of the CDS government relations committee, along with Oubai Shahbandar, Senior Advisor to the National Coalition of Syrian Opposition and Revolutionary Forces (Etilaf) gave statements in support of the moderate nature of the majority of Syrian Opposition Forces, as well as touting their accomplishments in the field (particularly against IS).
Muna Jondy, Government Relations Chair for CDS said,
“The representatives asked several questions about the Syrian opposition’s willingness to fight ISIS. It is important to remember that the opposition has been fighting ISIS since it emerged, because its violent oppression obstructs the revolution’s vision for democracy and diversity in Syria. CDS urges Congress in the strongest terms possible to authorize President Obama’s proposed arms program for moderate Syrian rebels. Congress must enable rapid enactment of the program by inserting it into Continuing Resolution H.J.Res. 124, which is scheduled to be voted on tomorrow, September 17.”
What is the Syria plan?
According to General Dempsey who testified in front of the Senate Armed Forces Committee on September 16th, there will no longer be a safe haven for ISIS in Syria. The Defense Department wants to work closely with the Syrian Opposition to “DISRUPT” the Islamic State. The only way this will be successful is if a “strong group of moderate rebels can be found to work with the coalition effort.” This means that these moderate opposition rebels must be stable and committed to the cause.
Senator John McCain asked an excellent question in the Armed Forces Committee meeting. He asked General Dempsey, “if we [the Coalition] ask the Syrian Opposition to support the fight against ISIS, will we support them if they are attacked by Assad’s helicopters dropping barrel bomb or if they are attacked by war jets.” After much hesitation, General Dempsey stated we will not allow anything or anyone to interfere with the coalition’s plan to eradicate ISIS. Senator McCain has always been a great advocate for the Syrian Opposition and has had a clear understanding of the complex issues.
Who’s in Assad’s Corner?
Syria is the greatest man-made disaster in modern times. While the Syrian Government has had the unlimited support of Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Hezbollah, the people of Syria have not been able to gather needed support to fight their aggressors. For more than three years, the Free Syrian Army has been asking for military support, including non-lethal and lethal assistance. While the United States and some other countries were willing to provide non-lethal support, any support that would be considered lethal was denied. All the while, the Syrian government was being supplied with lethal weapons of all kinds and they were using them relentlessly.
Syria likes to play both sides of the card when they can in order to satisfy Assad’s egotistical and narcissistic needs. To that end, the Syrian Foreign Minister Mekdad has reached out to the United States and the Coalition at large to invite them to join Syria in taking on the Terrorist Threat in his country. Both Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary Hagel have stated there will be no working with Syria. In fact, Secretary Hagel regards the Syrian regime as a terrorist regime.
Syria has warned that an American assault against ISIS inside Syria without coordination would violate their sovereignty. It seems clear that the US believes they have the right to pursue ISIS in Iraq and / or Syria. Assad should not be expecting a phone call to ask permission or to coordinate terror eradication plans. In fact, Assad’s been clearing “terrorists” from Syria for over three years now – and over 15,000 of them are under the age of 17 years old, many are less than 5 years old, and a remarkable number are infants.
A Point Missed
The United States was shocked today (September 16th) when the Iraqi Security Minister met with Assad to discuss the ISIS factor. It is interesting that the United States was thrown off guard by this meeting. Iraq has a long standing relationship with Syria; and both Iraq and Syria are driven by the wishes of Iran.
It is clear that the US was hoping that the new Prime Minister would immediately bring a more inclusive government in Iraq. This could happen at least superficially. However, for those interests that benefit Iran, the change in Prime Minister from Maliki to Haider al Abadi probably won’t deliver freedom from Iran’s control. What it will do is put a “gentler, kinder” personality in the PM’s chair. Whereas Maliki was a corrupt bully.
What the Coalition may have on their hands now is Iran orchestrating a coalition of their own with the members being:
- Assad regime (with Assad keeping his throne)
- Iraqi security forces, Hezbollah (funded by Iran)
- ISIS (who is given free reign to keep Syria and Iraq destabilized in exchange for looting, plundering and generally extreme terror).
It seems Iraq may be back to the same old story. They perform as Iran leads. Are we watching the entire Terror Network at work again!
Throughout all of the discussions during the Armed Services Committee meeting, there was talk of needing to train 5000 Syrian rebels then arm them. General Dempsey admitted this is a long term plan. What about the short term?
The people that are within Syria cannot wait for a long term plan. They need help now. Have we lost our moral compass in the United States and globally? The people of Syria have waited three years for help. They have defended their country, their women, their children and their dignity with the weapons they had available. Will we continue to allow Syrians to die while terrorists from foreign countries hit them from all directions. Don’t they have a RIGHT TO PROTECTION?
The Assad regime and the terror network that Assad subscribes to has done everything they can to destroy the people of Syria and the history that supports her existence. It must be understood that they are not done yet. On 9/15/2014, Iran delivered six military planes full of soldiers and equipment to Damascus.
To welcome the Iranian troops to Damascus, ISIS moved out of Division 17 so the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would have their own post. It is really interesting how nice that exchange among friendly terrorists works. ISIS is repositioning and laying low anticipating US airstrikes, so Iran sends in backfill. And, to accommodate them and make sure the Iranian brothers feel at home, ISIS voluntarily shares space.
If no one believed the collusion theory before, think again.
How Many Syrians Have Really Died? Nobody Really Knows.
- 190,000+ estimated based on UN count
Additional deaths not included in count:
- Thousands who have died due to injury or illness due to lack of treatment
- An untold number missing under how many tons of building rubble
- Thousands missing in Assad’s prisons tortured probably dead
- Miscarriages due to stress of war
- Women who were pregnant (babies not counted)
- Dead who have not been reported
One Syrian told me this week, “Syria is my heart, without her I am dead.”
A Syrian friend of mine asks: “Is it all we are, just a number?”