The U.S. and Assad: A Hostile Alliance
When the Syrian rebels attacked the Syrian establishment, analysts assumed that the Assad regime would be defeated in a bloody coup d’état.
Assad was able to revamp his military thanks to funding and training from Hezbollah and Iran. However, despite Russia’s intervention, the Syrian government is having a hard time taking its country back.
But no poison and suicide for Assad. The allies are fighting to save the great dictator.
An ISIS controlled Syria horrifies the West and Assad knows it. So does the US, who has been bluntly reminded that the enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend.
Were Syria not trampled by a strain of Islamic terror that attacked the West, the United States and Europe would allow the establishment to fall. However, the ‘war on terror’ has created an alliance by circumstance between the West and Assad.
There is no acceptable opposition to the Assad regime that the West can support. Therefore, the allies have little choice but to support Assad ( better the devil you know) in order to prevent ISIS from controlling the state and achieving a form of statehood which would throw the Middle East into more instability. From an ISIS-controlled Syria would flow migrants by the hundreds of thousands, compounding a continuing migration crisis in Europe and the Middle East.
But there is an even more unlikely alliance lurking around the corner.
Both Assad and Iran – Shi’ite states – regard the Sunni ISIS terrorists as a common foe. Given that the West is hell-bound on destroying ISIS, an alliance between the US and the Shi’ites is plausible.
America would find such an alliance rather distasteful given its strong alliance with Sunni Saudi Arabia and Turkey – a NATO country. No formal announcement nor official recognition of this possible alliance will be forthcoming from the Pentagon which favors Shi’ite control.
To invoke another Hitler metaphor, a stronger ISIS could see all sides fight on the same side. But the difference between ISIS and the Nazis is that the United States does not consider ISIS a threat to its dominance.
The US won’t say that it would rather have Assad remain in power, but it sees the foolishness of jumping from the frying pan into the fire.