Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Strikes Against ISIS in Syria Draw Mixed Reactions in Middle East

By BEN HUBBARD, NYT
SEPT. 23, 2014

BEIRUT — The Syrian rebel commander has been struggling for two years just to get ammunition for his men’s rifles and food to feed them, as they have sought to take ground from the military of President Bashar al-Assad while receiving only an erratic trickle of outside aid.

So he was amazed to wake up on Tuesday to the news that the United States and five Arab countries had begun a sweeping campaign of air and cruise-missile strikes in Syria — not against Mr. Assad’s forces, but those of the Islamic State militants who also want to topple the Syrian government.

The commander said he wasn’t against the strikes, but thought the campaign’s priorities were out of order.

“Our goal from the start has been to topple the regime, and then we can fight the Islamic State and the other extremists,” said the commander, who gave only his nickname, Abu Hussein, for fear of retribution from Islamist rebels. “It was Bashar who carried out all the massacres, and started the whole thing.”

(More here.)

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