Ankara, November 16, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
Obama opposes a ground operation in Syria
They will support the Kurds and maintain Assad until the Islamic State has been defeated
By Manolis Kostidis
Although the 20 leaders of the largest economies of the world have agreed that the Islamic State has to be fought directly, they do not appear determined to conduct land operations in Syria. Barack Obama described such a scenario as a “wrong move”.
Vladimir Putin, however, was more clear about what should be done to combat the jihadists, who occupy part of Syria and Iraq. The Russian President, after the conclusion of the Summit of G20 in Antalya, clarified that the Islamic State is funded by 40 countries and that among these are some that belong to the G 20! The Russian president added that “my secret services have collected relevant information and there should be put an immediately stop to the illegal oil trade with the Islamic state, from which it derives huge revenues. We need the real support of the US, EU, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran”, he concluded.
Barack Obama said that no member of the ISIS will be able to feel comfortable as he is determined to fight them. The US president, after explaining that until now 8000 flights for the bombing of ISIS target have been carried out, he expressed his opposition to groud operations of foreign forces in Syria. “It’s not that US forces would not be able to invade Raka, but we should not repeat past mistakes. It is a mistake to send troops to Syria”, he clarified. The US fears a new Iraq, in which thousands of American soldiers lost their lives in the fighting.
Obama appeared more flexible on the future of Bashar Al Assad and stressed that “we do not believe that Assad has a role in the future of Syria and agreed that the meetings between the opposition and Assad should be more intensive”.
On the same wavelength with Obama was Foreign Minister of Turkey Ferid Sinirlioglu, who denied the information about ground operations conducted by Turkey and clarified that “there is no possibility of an invasion of the Turkish army in Syria”.
All sides are realising that those who are effectively fight the jihadists at present are the Kurds. These past few days they have been taking back territories in northern Iraq and near Mosul from the hands of the Islamic State. It seems that the leaders have agreed to increase the military aid to the Kurds in northern Iraq and Syria, provided they do not expand west of Euphrates, creating a unified Kurdish zone along the border with Turkey, which is something Ankara has made it clear it will not accept.
The strategy of the allies seem to be to combat the Islamic State with strategic strikes on oil fields, arsenals and some sorts of guerrilla war, along with the Kurds and the men of Hezbollah, as well as with the support of the forces of Assad.
Currently, no leader asked for the immediate removal of Assad, with everyone’s priority being fighting ISIS.
With this view agrees the former NATO commander James Stavridis, who said that “the most important factor in the fight against ISIS is the training and organisation of the Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and the Iraqi Army, as well as the Jordanian army”.