US Begins Bombing Syria

Yesterday the US began bombing yet another country in the Middle East with strikes targeting ISIS forces in Syria. According to the Pentagon, the strikes were aimed at 20 different ISIS targets within Syria. US government officials also told ABC News that strikes were joined by Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. What extent those Arab nations participated military remains unknown though given the US militarily equipment those nations have purchased over the years they should be theoretically capable of participating.

What effect airstrikes alone can have remains an open question with military analysts including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates claiming ground troops are necessary to fulfill the stated mission of “degrading and destroying” ISIS.

The most obvious beneficiary of the new strikes is Syrian President Bashar Assad who has been locked in a struggle with ISIS and other rebels for control of Syria. US officials told The New York Times that they understand they are indirectly acting in the interest of the Assad government.

US Begins Bombing Syria

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Yesterday the US began bombing yet another country in the Middle East with strikes targeting ISIS forces in Syria. According to the Pentagon, the strikes were aimed at 20 different ISIS targets within Syria. US government officials also told ABC News that strikes were joined by Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. What extent those Arab nations participated military remains unknown though given the US militarily equipment those nations have purchased over the years they should be theoretically capable of participating.

What effect airstrikes alone can have remains an open question with military analysts including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates claiming ground troops are necessary to fulfill the stated mission of “degrading and destroying” ISIS.

The most obvious beneficiary of the new strikes is Syrian President Bashar Assad who has been locked in a struggle with ISIS and other rebels for control of Syria. US officials told The New York Times that they understand they are indirectly acting in the interest of the Assad government.

The strikes in Syria occurred without the approval of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whose government, unlike Iraq, did not ask the United States for help against the Sunni militant group. Mr. Obama has repeatedly called on Mr. Assad to step down because of chemical weapons attacks and violence against his own people, and defense officials said Mr. Assad had not been told in advance of the strikes.

But administration officials acknowledge that American efforts to roll back the Sunni militant group in Syria cannot help but aid Mr. Assad, whose government is also a target of the Islamic State.

Bombing a country without the permission of the government is a murky legal area for President Obama though it remains to be seen as to whether the Assad government is particularly upset with this recent bombing campaign given it is aimed at Assad’s enemies. Military action in Syria has been justified by the 2001 use of force bill aimed at Al Qaeda and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile in Iraq, ISIS attacked an Iraqi national army military base killing between 300-500 soldiers. Given the flexible and congealing nature of ISIS it is highly questionable as to whether the militant group can ever really be destroyed as long as Iraq and Syria remain war zones. Though that is of no apparent concern to the Obama Administration which has launched America into another war in the Middle East that even officials admit will take several years.