Ask Assad if ISIS will be Destroyed

Anyone who thinks ISIS, now an important global brand of terror, is about to be destroyed, think again.

assad-isis-isil

Demonstrators in Damascus carrying placards depicting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Credit: Youssef Badawi/European Press photo Agency

Consider the ultimate Arab game almost all the rulers play in the Middle East.

It has no rules and one goal: Divert the attention away from one’s weakness. We invented it and we are masters at playing it. We have been diverting the attention towards Israel ever since the Palestinian exodus of 1947.

Today, both the Syrian and the Iranian regimes have deflected, with their forging of ISIS/ISIL, the attention away from their terror, and more importantly from regime change.

It serves Syria and Iran to maintain the ISIS threat against the West for many years to come. If the West is focused on ISIS, who has the time to change the regimes of the masters of terror? Mr. Obama’s letter to Khamenei suggesting he will work with Iran on combating ISIS underscores how little our President, and his NSC staff, understand the Arab and the Muslim world. This ignorance is leading us to the chaos we see in many parts of the region.

A continuous ISIS threat, Assad and Khamenei will keep charging, will also tie the hands of Saudi Arabia and Israel as well; both America’s strongest allies in the region.

Anyone who thinks ISIS, now an important global brand of terror, is about to be destroyed, think again. Neither regimes will let it happen. The same way Syria and Iran fed al-Qaeda in Iraq to terrorize our US troops, both will feed ISIS to threaten Israel and Saudi Arabia. This is why most of Assad’s attacks on the battlefields have been against innocent civilians.

Over the past 15 years, Assad tried on several occasions, to kick-start a new terror group inside Syria to serve his needs (Remember Fatah al-Islam?), but ISIS, with the help of Iran, is his crown jewel because he permitted them to occupy oil fields he no longer controlled and purchased back that oil from the terror group.

Furthermore, Syria and Iraq are under the total control and tutelage of Iran. Yes, Iran does not want ISIS to become stronger than necessary, but it does not want it to die either. IRGC’s Chief Qassem Suleimani wants ISIS to have enough gravity to pull the West to its orbit and away from the Iranian orbit.

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Watching the President of the United States kowtowing to Iran is the most discouraging signs yet that we are a long way from defeating terror. During this transitional period where lack of focus against Iranian terror dominates, the regime is not standing still. To keep the West anesthetized the regime may diminish its threats against Israel, it may dispatch secret envoys who will find their way to the ears of US allies, and will assist Hezbollah to go on a charm offensive to showcase how Shia Islam is reformed Islam because of the untouchable Sunni Ahadith.

In other words, Iran knows it cannot confront its enemies by constantly antagonizing them. Iran has to play the roles of friend and foe simultaneously to achieve its goals of total dominance in the region. In doing so, Iran will also help sway fence sitters of its so-called “moderate” views, something the Western media elaborates upon once in a while.

Moreover, Iran knows that Saudi Arabia is combating ISIS because of its danger to the reputation of Sunni Islam. As such, ISIS is a bargaining chip to force possibly Saudi Arabia to drop its oil production or else face terror on its borders courtesy of Khamenei. In fact, the Iranian Parliament sets its 2015 budget on course with a $70 a barrel price projection. A $50 a barrel means Iran will have a 40 percent budget deficit in 2015. In comparison, imagine the US experiencing about $1.5 trillion budget deficit in one year to grasp the scope of what Iran is facing.

Of course, Iran administering a dose of its terror against Saudi Arabia using ISIS is a speculative scenario, but the oddball politics of the region dictates that we look at every elbow and its opposite knee-jerk reaction.

If we really want to eradicate ISIS, we have no choice but to remove their masters, in Damascus and Tehran, from power. Anyone who believes ISIS will be destroyed eventually if Assad is still in power is a fool.

Farid Ghadry is the President of the US-based Reform Party of Syria. Read other articles by Farid.

  • Roger

    This article is so riddled with lies it’s ridiculous. Saudi Arabia is the global source of wahabi terror ideology. NOT iran. Iran is expanding its influence by supporting groups such as isis that are bent on destroying them? Are you on drugs?

  • Arcadian

    Clearly a simpleton’s view of the situation in the Middle East.