On September 10, US President Barack Obama ordered to sharply escalate the military campaign against the Islamic State (IS), declaring that the United States Air Force would attack not only Iraq, but also Syria. He vowed to destroy terrorists wherever they may be. How will Bashar al-Assad react to the invasion?
What is Obama's plan about exactly? Earlier, the US would conduct pinpoint strikes to protect personnel and facilities of vital importance for the United States - the consulate in Erbil, offices of oil companies in Iraqi Kurdistan, a secret base of special forces and the CIA, etc. Now, the US is going to bomb the territories, which the US administration sees fit for the offensive of the Iraqi army. Obama also proposed to block financial sources of the IS and create a broad coalition to counter militants. The US will not conduct a ground operation, he added.
American analysts believe that in order to achieve success without a ground operation, one would have to considerably increase the number of air strikes. Too many bombs will not be enough either. The main problem is the lack of support to US actions from the civilian population (Sunnis), who pay taxes to the IS and consider America "enemy number one," the American press writes. Therefore, in the opinion of many American analysts, implementing the Libyan scenario in Syria and Iraq will not work.
The Pentagon does not believe in the power of air strikes either. For example, Lt. Gen. William Mayville said August 11 that the IS was gaining momentum persistently throughout Iraq and would be able to survive attacks of both Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, despite air strikes, said the general.
"Bombardment can destroy infrastructure, but it will not destroy the fighters who may hide in adverse terrain. This can be done only by deploying ground troops, - Azhdar Kurtov, historian, political scientist and editor in chief of Problems of National Strategy journal told Pravda.Ru. According to the expert, it will mean that the Americans will be forced to conduct a ground operation in Iraq and Syria, if they want to achieve real results.
The second question is the bombing of Syria. Obama spoke about the bombings of IS-controlled territories, rather than of the areas taken by Syrian troops. From the legal point of view, this is the territory of Syria, so such bombardment can and should be regarded as an act of aggression. The Americans do not know how Assad will respond. According to General Jim Poss, former director of the United States Air Force Intelligence, there are serious reasons for American politicians to to rush to bomb Syria. Syrian air defense forces are among world's best as they daily serve against the owners of one of the best air forces in the world - the Israelis. Therefore, the general believes, US Air Force may suffer considerable losses in Syria.
"There is a question of whom Obama is going to bomb in Syria, because there are serious doubts that he would bomb militants and not Assad's facilities that prevent militants from capturing Damascus," Yevgeny Satanovsky, President of the Institute for Israel and the Middle East told Pravda.Ru. The expert believes that Assad will reposed to Obama, if the latter bombs the positions of the Syrian army and suburbs of Damascus.
"The fact is that nobody is going to defeat ISIS - the organization that founded the Islamic State - no one, especially the United States, - Mikhail Chernov, a political scientist, deputy director of the Center for Strategic Situation told Pravda.Ru. - The USA needs this situation to unleash a large-scale war and get new players involved in it - both regional and non-regional ones. Bombings will not be able to destroy ISIS, and no one is going to do it. The goal is to have as many countries as possible involved in the war - ideologically, from the point of view of resources, infrastructure, etc. Perhaps, there is a goal to weaken ISIS a little. Perhaps, the Americans took up the case too zealously. It is important that the situation works to start a large war in the Middle East.
"As for the financial blockade, the IS properly collects taxes on the controlled territory, sells oil and receives funding through private foundations in the Persian Gulf. "This oil is sold through illegal or semi-legal channels, including to America's closest allies and Arab states, in particular, Turkey. If the United States wanted to create the financial blockade, it would have happened long ago," said Azhdar Kurtov.
According to Yevgeny Satanovsky, they sell oil at a price of $25 per barrel, which is twice or four times cheaper than world prices. "Obama can not do anything here. Qatar financed, finances and will finance Islamists, and Saudi Arabia will finance other Islamists," said Satanovsky.
"ISIS is a double-edged weapon. On the one hand, there is absolutely crazy, wild ferocity of their fighters and activities that they conduct inside Iraq. On the other hand, they are professional policy makers with good education, connections in the West, perhaps of Western origin, and they create the economic and financial base for the ISIS to function, - said Mikhail Chernov. - Will it be destroyed? I do not think so, because it allows large illegal gray oil supplies, and American companies profit from this when they get this oil."
As for the puppet "broad coalition," it will include Canada, Australia, the UK and several NATO member states from Europe, Azhdar Kurtov believes. "It may include Ukraine or Georgia, the Baltic States, of course, - said Yevgeny Satanovsky. - But in fact, the question of broad coalitions is absolute nonsense. All these coalitions have failed everything that could be failed in Iraq, Afghanistan. A coalition can destroy centralized governments, but it can not fight against terrorists, nor does it know how to do it."
"Russia will support the United States, if the United States struggles against terrorism, - continued Yevgeny Satanovsky. - However, President Obama is going to combat terrorism on the one hand and overthrow President Assad on the other hand. Why would Moscow green light the toppling of the Syrian president, who acts today as the only obstacle to prevent Syria from collapsing and turning into a terrorist enclave, as it happened to Libya?"