Today, President Barack Obama outlined the US strategy to counter the terrorist group the “Islamic State of Iraq and Sham” (ISIS). The Syrian Coalition has long called for this action and has warned time and again of the growing threat of this extremist group. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) realized the extent to which ISIS fanatics are prepared to go to advance their evil agenda. It has fought and defeated ISIS and expelled its forces out of large areas in northern Syria, earlier this year. The FSA can succeed, but it needs the necessary support that would enable it to form a reliable and well-equipped force to act as the guardian of the Syrian people against extremism and tyranny. Today, we are one step closer to achieving that goal.
We urge the US Congress to approve the president’s policy as soon as possible, and to allow the training and equipping of Free Syrian Army.
The Syrian Coalition, the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, stands ready and willing to partner with the international community not only to defeat ISIS but also rid the Syrian people of the tyranny of the Assad regime.
Carrying out airstrikes against ISIS inside Syria might be crucial to international efforts aimed at eliminating the extremist group, terrorizing innocent civilians throughout the region. Equally important, is to realize that the Assad regime represents the root cause of the violence, brutality, and sense of impunity prevailing in Syria. Assad remains a serious threat to the stability of the region. It was the Assad regime, with the backing of foreign militias from Iraq and Lebanon, that killed more than 190,000 people and made homeless more than 9 million others. It was the regime that fostered lawlessness and chaos in areas where it lost control, allowing extremism and terrorism to grow and wreak devastation across Syria and beyond the borders.
Both ISIS and the Assad regime hold extremist views and both have sought the destruction of any opposition to their rule. Both have committed atrocities in pursuit of vicious goals. That is why combating ISIS alone cannot bring about a stable and extremist free region. It takes more than that to achieve this end. It takes addressing the cause behind the emergence of such anomalies. It takes degrading, and ultimately removing, the Assad repressive regime seeking the perpetual destabilization of the entire region for the sole purpose of remaining in power.