It is difficult to count the daily statements made by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Obama, Pentagon officials and the spokesmen of the administration, with all its branches, in addition to the statements made by Secretary of State Kerry on the issue in Syria. This doesn’t reflect the state of confusion surrounding the issue as much as it reflects confusion on how to manage the issue in a way that doesn’t unveil hidden issues on the one hand or disrupt the battle of the Americans and their allies against the Islamic State on the other.
In some instances Obama says that Assad must depart, while in other instances he says that his departure is not a priority. At times he deems his departure necessary for the success of the battle, then, once again, he says that this is not necessary, as it will lead to the Islamic State group controlling Syria.
In an analysis of the policy on the ground, it can be argued that Bashar practically benefited from the U.S. airstrikes directed at the Islamic State group, which in many instances included the al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham. This precipitated the advancement of the regime in a number of areas, as acknowledged by Assad’s spokesman in one particular way or another. It is also certain that none of the regime’s targets were injured during the raids, although many raids injured civilians, “always accidentally.” These injuries are being completely ignored, as if they had never happened.
In his dialogue with Al-Akhbar newspaper, which belongs to Hezbollah, Bashar’s foreign minister didn’t hide his implicit delight with the U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State group, even if he didn’t directly reveal this.* He considered his regime’s policy in dealing with the situation as realistic, simultaneously welcoming Russia and Iran’s objection to airstrikes in Syria while also being aware that the reason for this rejection is to prevent Iran from involvement in a scandal that unveils the slogan of the rebels and the opposition, who were already shamed in Iraq before Syria.
Through a more in-depth analysis of the situation, one can say that Obama can’t manage the Syrian issue without referring to the Zionists. They are still choosing the same option they selected in the beginning, which is the prolongation of the conflict, turning Syria into a black hole that depletes everyone, including Iran, Hezbollah, Turkey, the Arab Spring and Syria, in addition to getting rid of uncontrollable groups that might progress later on to harm Zionist security.
From this point on, not one U.S. policy can impair this goal, even if the policy targets the Islamic State group, seeing as how targeting it doesn’t imply a conclusive battle. It is neither in favor of the system nor in favor of the other factions, most of which are also classified as terrorists.
If asked about the perplexity that underlies the statements and the occasional tendency toward getting rid of Bashar al-Assad or regarding him as the other face of the Islamic State group, as stated by Kerry, the pillars of the Arab coalition answer that they find such options necessary. Especially relevant are those who claim to support the revolution in Syria and stand in the embarrassing position of supporting a coalition that targets the Islamic State group while leaving the greatest murderer free, in spite of the fact that he is clearly behind the recent wave of violence in the region following his response — which resulted in a massive amount of bloodshed — to the revolution of unarmed people.
There is an important dimension that exists here with respect to the U.S. behavior toward Iran, as Washington doesn't want its war against the Islamic State group in Syria to ruin the nuclear negotiations with Iran. A posture against the Assad regime might prompt Iran to go back on negotiations, and perhaps have a negative impact on them. What is desired is for a result to be reached as a midpoint in the process of improving the situation of the reformers inside the country. They are the ones who enjoy the privilege of being capable of passing a game-changing solution in Syria that doesn't keep the situation as it is; the solution is not dealt with in the spirit of victory, like the conservatives, who consider Assad a main anchor in their expansion project in the region.
In light of all of this, one can say that the battle in Syria remains a long battle, and it will be postponed by America until a nuclear agreement is reached with Iran, and perhaps even until the war on the Islamic State group is resolved. The strategy of supporting moderate groups has no value because what is offered to them doesn’t exceed the basic necessities to stay alive and does not create an equilibrium with the regime or with the groups classified as terrorists. It is certain, however, that the current battle will not reach a conclusion if the situation in Iraq and Syria doesn’t shift toward eradicating the factors that led to the eruption of the current wave of violence. As it is, this doesn't seem visible in the near future.
*Editor’s note: Al-Akhbar newspaper, though labeled by some as being “pro-Hezbollah,” has no official affiliation with the organization.