The British government is considering beginning airstrikes into Syria against the Islamic State (ISIS). London is currently engaged in airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and has troops in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq training and advising the Peshmerga.
Since ISIS’ territory in Syria is its “most valuable and sustainable,” the case for ignoring a border that ISIS has erased would seem to be a good one.
But no less a figure than the Conservative chair of the defence select committee, Julian Lewis, thinks otherwise:
In 2010 the government wanted to remove Assad without helping al-Qaeda or similar groups that subsequently became Daesh. Now we apparently want to remove Daesh but without helping Assad. These two things are incompatible. It is a choice of evils.
The view that Syria is divided between the Assad dictatorship and ISIS has become commonplace. It is mistaken. Continue reading