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The Syria Nightmare
Al-Qaeda Victories Spell Crisis for U.S. Policy in Syria

Major defeats this weekend placed America’s policy in Syria in jeopardy, The Washington Post reports:

The Obama administration’s Syria strategy suffered a major setback Sunday after fighters linked to al-Qaeda routed U.S.-backed rebels from their main northern strongholds, capturing significant quantities of weaponry, triggering widespread defections and ending hopes that Washington will readily find Syrian partners in its war against the Islamic State.

Moderate rebels who had been armed and trained by the United States either surrendered or defected to the extremists as the Jabhat al-Nusra group, affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through the towns and villages the moderates controlled in the northern province of Idlib, in what appeared to be a concerted push to vanquish the moderate Free Syrian Army, according to rebel commanders, activists and analysts.

Al-Nusra is now also massing its forces near the Turkish border, with what looks like the intent of seizing and cutting off a key moderate-held border crossing. Meanwhile, fighting is stalled around Kobani, with ISIS continuing to hold and possibly even gain ground despite U.S. airstrikes and diplomatic intervention that brought the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga to bear.

We told the world we were going to degrade and destroy ISIS, al-Nusra, and the extremists in Syria. Now our allies are being overrun, our plans in Iraq are months or years away from fruition, and our national security team is reportedly in disarray. In a region where the perception of strength and surety is vital, this is a dangerous situation to be in.

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  • Andrew Allison

    This is a recording: “. . . fighters linked to al-Qaeda routed U.S.-backed rebels from their main northern strongholds, capturing significant quantities of weaponry, . . .” What’s the point of arming them?

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    We shouldn’t be helping any of them. Our best strategy is to encourage the Sunni Jihadists to focus all their resources on killing the Shiite Jihadists and vice-a-versa. We should be encouraging a hot, bitter, and long term conflict which will drain the Islamic Culture which is spawning all this Terrorist filth. By focusing all their resources on each other the Jihadists will nothing left to murder innocents in the west, and the west would be that much safer. Putting the Unifying target of American Infidels which all Jihadists agree are the enemy in the middle of this quagmire is the height of stupidity.

  • f1b0nacc1

    The only weapons delivery we should be contemplating in this area of the world is moderate shipments of smart bombs to both sides at fairly high velocity.

  • rheddles

    Obama’s big mistake was letting John McCain goad him into taking action.

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