As US Hits East Syria, Assad Steps Up Strikes in West

US Strikes on ISIS Free Up Syrian Military Against Other Rebels

The Obama Administration’s attacks on ISIS across Eastern Syria continued apace today, and unsurprisingly, have given way to an increasing number of Syrian military airstrikes in the West.

The attacks reflect a reality that the administration has sought not to publicly acknowledge: that an attack on the largest Syrian rebel faction must inevitably be beneficial to the Syrian government they’re rebelling against.

The US has had no problem presenting its strikes in Iraq as beneficial to Iraq’s government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), but doesn’t have the cozy relationship with the Assad government.

Still, even if the US wasn’t coordinating its Syria strikes with Assad (which it is, indirectly, through Iraq), those attacks are going to free up Syrian military assets to focus on other rebel factions. The Syrian military is taking advantage of that in a big way, hitting the western rebel territory in ways that weren’t possible before.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.