Vastavam web: Trump has ordered stepped-up military operations against Islamic State and delegated more authority to his generals, but without a comprehensive Syria strategy, his approach risks further confrontation with Syria, Iran and even Russia.The United States has taken a series of actions over the past three months demonstrating its willingness to carry out strikes, mostly in self-defence, against Syrian government forces and their backers, including Iran.
In April, Trump ordered cruise missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which Washington said a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched. Since then, the United States has repeatedly struck Iranian-backed militia and last week even shot down a drone threatening U.S.-led coalition forces.Both the administration of former President Barack Obama and Trump’s have focused exclusively on defeating Islamic State, but with the militants’ self-proclaimed caliphate shrinking, U.S.-backed and Syrian-backed forces appear to be competing for territory.”This is just the result of tactical decisions by a commander on the ground whose only focus is a specific theatre in Syria. He is acting to protect his assets.This is purely a series of tactical decisions that are creating a series of very serious strategic consequences.”
“We have never had a coherent Syrian strategy,” said one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We oppose Assad, but our main enemy is ISIS, which also opposes Assad. Our most capable allies are the (Kurdish) peshmerga, but Turkey, who is a NATO ally and host to an airbase that is central to our efforts, considers the Kurds enemies.”Jennifer Cafarella, of the Institute for the Study of War, said the U.S. strikes are unlikely to deter Assad and his backers.