The United States military intervention in Iraq which started with the 2003 invasion of the country has been blamed for the emergence of Daesh. The Takfiri terrorist group has been waging an atrocious campaign of violence and bloodshed in Iraq and Syria since 2014. The two countries have in response launched large military offensives in an effort to cleanse their territories from the terrorists.
Press TV has spoken to Scott Bennett, a former US army psychological warfare officer, as well as Lawrence J. Korb, a US foreign policy and national security analyst, to discuss the role of the United States and its regional allies in the fight against the Daesh terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
Bennett dismissed the United States’ claim of its involvement in the anti-terror fight in Syria and Iraq as “blatant propaganda,” and added that Washington’s main objective has never been to fight Daesh in those countries.
The United States has been trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by any means possible since 2008 and it has used Daesh to achieve that goal, he noted.
The analyst went on to say that the US has been bombing Daesh positions in Syria “half-heartedly” and “moderately”, while at the same time, financing the terrorists through Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
According to Bennett, Washington is on the wrong side of the Syrian conflict, because if it really wants to destroy the Takfiri terrorists, it needs to be on the side of Damascus and Moscow.
He also rejected the proposition that President Assad has been bombing Syrian civilians as “absolutely propaganda and nonsense.”
The analyst further asserted there is no moderate opposition in Syria, and that the US has only been exacerbating the situation by inflating the opposition.
“Russia has stepped in to stop the destabilization of Syria and to stop the foreign fighter invasion from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and elsewhere in North Africa; and the Wahhabi Takfiri ideology from turning Syria into another Libya, another desert of chaos, smoldering ruins and smoke;, and to stop that plague from inflicting Russia and from inflicting Europe,” he stated.
Commenting on Turkey’s military presence in northern Iraq, Bennett mentioned that Ankara is seeking to set the ground for its final showdown with the Kurds.
However, he said, Turkey is going to lose big-time if it does not get out of Iraq, because Russia is not going to allow it to impede the operation to destroy Daesh.
“They [the Russians] are going to tell Turkey in no uncertain terms ‘You have to get out immediately or else you are going to be attacked and destroyed if you step over the line by Iraqi forces and we are going to side with the Iraqis because our main objective is the destruction of the ISIS (Daesh) fighters,’” he said.
“We do not care what problems you have with the Kurds or the Izadis or any other ethnic religious conflict. That is your business. But we do care about this fire that has been burning black since the US has continued to pour gasoline on it, we are putting it out,” he added.
The analyst concluded by saying that it is the United States and its regional allies – namely Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – which continue to foment war in Iraq in an attempt to throw off balance the regional power struggle in the Middle East.
The other panelist attending Press TV’s program, Lawrence J. Korb, noted that the United States has entered Iraq to fight the Daesh terrorist group at the request of the government in Baghdad and it has been “successful” in freeing the cities of Tikrit and Ramadi before the operation for Mosul got underway.
“The Iraqis are taking the lead and we are providing the air cover and some support on the ground,” he said.
With regard to Syria, he mentioned that the US is going after the Daesh terrorists, not the Free Syrian Army who rose up against President Assad even before the creation of Daesh.
“We have armed the Kurds in there who have taken back Kobani. We are using the Incirlik airbase in Turkey to attack them. We are taking this step by step,” he stated.
Russia came into Syria to prevent President Assad from losing to the Free Syrian Army, he said, adding the Russians claim that the FSA fighters are part of the Daesh terrorist group “which they are not.”
“I think you have to distinguish between ISIS (Daesh) and al-Nusra which are terrorist groups and the Free Syrian Army,” he opined.