Aspiration of the White House and the Turkish leadership to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad diverts them from the major task of combating terrorists from the Islamic State and creates risks of a conflict with the Russian Federation. That is what an increased number of American politicians, including Tulsi Gabbard, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, believe. “Our overall priority, objective and mission must be in channeling all the resources for the implementation of a robust, sweeping strategy to defeat ISIS instead of being distracted by trying to overthrow Assad’s government. This distraction led us to a very dangerous situation — a possibility of a direct conflict with Russia, which brings us to the brink of a potentially larger conflict of a WWIII type situation,” said Gabbard at the beginning of December in her interview to CNN. Having set a task of taking out Syrian government, Turkish leadership hopes to streamline arms supply to terrorists and everyone who is trying to overthrow Bashar Assad.
In her interview on CNN, an American congressional representative Tulsi Gabbard openly said that official Turkey contributed more to the development and prosperity of the Islamic State than to the countering of that terrorist group. In the opinion of the member of the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, Turkey boosts the development of ISIS by getting involved in an implicit and explicit collaboration with them.
“Turkey has done more for the development and prosperity of the Islamic State than for its defeat. It has opened the Syrian-Turkish border and renders indirect assistance to other extremists besides ISIS. All that demonstrates that Turkey is not on our side,” said Gabbard.
Talking on the TV channel, Gabbard also accused the Turkish state of setting the destruction and suppression of Kurds as a priority for themselves. The Kurds, however, represent today the most effective force fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
As for the steps Washington takes in dealing with the Islamic State, it seems that politicians from the White House act in compliance with the following rules:
- keep pretending that the US is fighting the Islamic State.
- fool ordinary people into believing that the so-called “moderate opposition” not only exists, but is also fighting two enemies — Assad and ISIS.
- flood “moderate opposition” with weapons for it to (allegedly) fight ISIS, but in reality — to strengthen Islamic extremist groups in their struggle against the government troops and Russian aviation.
But it is quite clear to almost everybody that Islamists fighting in Syria and the “moderate opposition” are just two different names for the same organization. Thus, arming of the “moderate opposition” (allegedly fighting ISIS) is just a scheme disguising distribution of weapons to the Islamic State and its enablers to empower them to fight not only Assad’s army, but also Kurds and other members of the anti-ISIS coalition.
This explains why a group of rational American politicians has introduced bill No. 4108 to the US House of Representatives at the end of November prohibiting expenditure of funds to provide assistance to the Syrian opposition seeking to overthrow the government of the Syrian Arab Republic. The bill was introduced by the representative of the Democratic party Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii and was supported by her Republican peer Austin Scott (representative of Georgia), who also believes that efforts to overthrow Assad’s government are counter-productive. These two representatives of the American Congress strongly believe that today the US is waging two wars. A just war approved by the US Congress against Islamic extremists. And an illegal and counter-productive war against the “dictator” Assad. These legislators argue that by trying to take out the legitimate Syrian president, the US is actually empowering its enemies and, first of all, the Islamic State. The truth is, however, that right now there is no better candidate for the post of the president of Syria able to replace Assad. If Islamic extremists seize the power in the country, it would only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the region and endanger security of other countries, including the US. And, should that happen, the situation in this country would develop according to the well-known Libyan scenario, once instigated by Washington. But there is another aspect of the problem — if Washington continues to follow the same path, the outcome could be a head-to-head conflict with Russia, a clash with the Russian air forces or even a WWIII.
Everyone understands that Islamic extremists, being on the brink of a destruction, thanks to effective Russian airstrikes targeting their facilities, are frantically looking for a way out from this fiasco situation. And the day when they will be chased away from a significant part of the Syrian territory is nearing. That is the reason why they are now fleeing not only to the neighboring Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, but even to Afghanistan, Western Europe and the Asian continent. Which means that today is the perfect time to unite and hit the Islamic State even harder. The same strategy should be exercised in relation to the countries and political forces supporting terrorists openly or in disguise, including those supplying them with weapons or funding their activities by buying oil and stolen art from them.
And to ensure that the number of terrorist supporters is shrinking, it would be vital to establish a tribunal being an international body conducting close investigation of the role of certain countries and politicians in the development of ISIS and penalizing those found guilty. The first case for the tribunal to scrutinize would be the activities of Turkish political leaders.
Vladimir Odintsov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”