Isis in Iraq: Britain has no plan for tackling the militants, and no idea who's in charge More obfuscation from Patrick Cockburn. The Americans are ignoring the Free Syrian Army in Northern Syria which has done most of the fighting against ISIS on the ground, while tolerating Assad who has done more than anyone to foster ISIS. "Speaking before the US Senate Armed Services Committee in January, retired US General James Mattis said that in the war against Isis, the US has a “strategy-free” stance. At one and the same time it is seeking to weaken and eliminate Isis, but is also trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad whose army is the main military opponent of Isis. The US’s supposed aim is to install moderate rebels instead of Isis and Assad, but these barely exist outside a few pockets. At senior levels, US leaders probably do perceive their dilemma in combating Isis while heading an alliance that excludes most of those fighting it on the ground but includes those who helped to foster the self-declared caliphate."