President Barack Obama has shifted positions from his administration’s lukewarm response to the IS threats in Iraq and Syria to a more strategic counter-terrorism measure, including training and arming Syrian rebels. Obama will be meeting the US Congress for update on American foreign policy in the Middle East, while seeking approval for his new policy acton. An excerpt of President Obama’s yet-to-be delivered congressional address said the objective is to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the IS group.
Until the policy volte-face, President Obama stated that the US had no concrete combat strategy against IS, while he merely vetted military airstrikes against the group in Iraq.
The fear in Capitol Hill is whether or not the Congress is ready to travel Obama’s road, especially on broader US military intervention in the Middle East. There is a perspective that while Congress may approve funding for arming and training the Syrian rebels, it is unlikely they would adopt a wholesale involvement of American soldiers in the troubled region.
President Obama explained the complexion and architecture of what he is seeking Congressional nod for is different.
He said: “I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.
Cheering News For Syrian Rebels
For once, there is agreeable plan between the west and Syrian rebels, who became disenchanted with foreign collaborations after failing to get help against the regime of Bashar Assad. The main western-backed opposition group in Syria, the Syrian National Coalition, has welcomed America’s planned attack against the IS in Syria and the arming of rebel fighters. Now, the rebel coalition are asking for more: the topple of al-Assad
“The Syrian Coalition … stands ready and willing to partner with the international community not only to defeat Isis but also rid the Syrian people of the tyranny of the Assad regime,” said Hadi al-Bahra, head of the coalition.