Ever since ISIS began making its presence felt on the Syrian scene, I predicted that eventually Obama will choose to intervene in Syria, but only to strike against ISIS. I warned that such a course will antagonize many Sunnis around the world, on account of Obama’s refusal to strike against the Assad regime which has committed much worse atrocities against the Syrian people, especially the Sunni majority. By enlisting the participation of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and even Qatar, Obama seems to think that he can avert giving such an impression. But he is wrong. Participation of the corrupt and authoritarian Sunni governments that have always had strong ties with the U.S. will not alleviate Sunni doubts and anger on the grassroots level, especially among the disaffected, and will probably further fuel it.
That is, unless Obama commits to a policy that seeks overthrow of the Assad regime as well. There are no signs that Obama intends to do that. For this, the current drive against ISIS will only add fuel to the fire, and will make the situation much worse. But for now, it’s good to see Kobani being saved. I just hope that the salvation extends further west and cover all of Syria from desert to sea.