US still seeks to topple Assad government: Analyst
An American activist in Maryland says the United States is still seeking the ouster of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Myles Hoenig made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday while commenting on a report which says the US, Turkey are moving closer to creating a buffer zone on the Turkish-Syrian border.
Washington and Ankara last month reached an agreement to fight the Daesh terrorist group. Under the deal, the United States is using Turkish air bases for strikes against Daesh terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
The deal also envisions an area along the Turkish-Syrian border that is free of terrorists and monitored by the US. Turkey is seeking to put millions of Syrian refugees there.
“One needs to question the motives of Turkey and the US. They certainly need to unburden themselves of Syrian refugees but without guarantees of a safe zone, it raises the questions of what Turkey’s intent really is,” Hoenig said.
“Will they really be a force against ISIS [Daesh], or will it free up their resources to go after the Kurds? To the Turkish government, they are more concern of a Kurdish independent state than ISIS’s growing power,” he added.
“The US doesn’t want to recognize that the countries in the region have their own interests and they are not always compatible with those of the United States,” the analyst noted.
“Also, by using Turkey as a staging ground, the US is expanding the fight in Syria to all of NATO, as Turkey is a member. Turkey would be a legitimate target if it is allowing its territory to be used against the Syrian government,” he observed.
“The US wants to topple Assad and replace it with who knows what? If there is to be a safe zone for the Syrian refugees, it ought to be independent of this military and political goal for it to have a chance to succeed,” Hoenig concluded.
The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq since last year. But it has been criticized for causing civilian casualties and failure to stop ISIL advances.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. The United States and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside the country.