Syria Escalates Attacks on Rebels With US Planning ISIS Strikes

Anticipating US Attacks on ISIS, Syria's Focus Shifts

With the US promising to attack ISIS in Syria soon, the Syrian government is shifting its own strategy in the ongoing civil war, leaving ISIS more or less alone for the US to deal with as they focus on the other rebel factions.

In the Aleppo and Homs Provinces, Syria is focusing its airstrikes on those smaller rebel factions, killing 48 people today in attacks. The strikes are setting the stage for a new military push northward.

Though the US is insisting they’re not going to coordinate with the Assad government, and is even trying to couch their intervention in Syria as aimed at strengthening non-ISIS rebels, it’s clear the move is giving Syria a big chance to turn the tables and recover lost ground from other rebel factions.

That’s because before, the Assad government was committing massive resources to fighting ISIS expansion deeper into their territory. With ISIS now shifting toward fighting the US, and US airstrikes expecting to start soon, the Syrian military can more or less focus entirely on retaking land from the Islamic Front and other smaller factions.

The offensive is likely to fuel more calls for the US to step up arms to such rebels, and likewise push those rebels to ally closer with ISIS.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.