During his high-profile Wednesday night speech, President Obama promised he “will not hesitate to take action against ISIS in Syria,” effectively expanding the new ISIS war into another country.
Obama insisted hunting ISIS anywhere on the planet is a “core principle of my presidency,” and made a move that has been considered likely for a couple of weeks now as the war expands.
The administration has been laying the groundwork for attacks inside Syria for quite some time now, whether to attack the Assad government, as was the plan last year, or to attack ISIS, as they now intend.
Yet, the administration has rested the legality of its attacks inside Iraq on being “invited” by what passes for an Iraqi government there, and in Syria, while the Assad government has expressed openness to coordination, the US has ruled it out.
Uncoordinated US strikes, being carried out as Syria tries to fight its own growing battle against ISIS, are a big problem, and Syrian officials say they’ll consider unilateral US strikes an act of aggression and a violation of Syrian sovereignty.
Which is in keeping with what literally every nation on the planet would do, but as the administration tries to build up a huge, but ultimately feckless, “coalition” to fight ISIS, they want to keep Syria and Iran away from it in favor of the Saudis and other GCC countries which want to bankroll Syria’s various other rebels.
That’s where the new US war in Syria is going to get extremely complicated, as those arms for “moderate rebels” are ending up in ISIS hands, something those US allies have been perfectly willing to ignore in the name of ousting Assad, and will continue to push Syria toward more and more factions fighting with more and more foreign arms.