Friday, 1 May 2015

U.S. allies in Middle East ramping

"Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with an assist from Qatar, recently ended a long estrangement to address their shared concern over the lagging fight against Assad.
Regional officials insist that the aid, including U.S.-made TOW missiles, is not going to the Islamists. Instead, they said, it is enabling moderates to enhance their stature among opposition fighters after years of being outgunned and out-financed by more militant groups.
The new approach could undermine three years of U.S. Syria policy focused on securing a negotiated settlement to the war by putting enough pressure on Assad that he feels compelled to make compromises, but not enough to score an outright opposition victory that might result in chaos and cause Syria to collapse even further.
Many now argue, however, that the United States needs to take more risks in arming the rebels if it wants to stay relevant.
“The Turks, the Saudis and the Qataris are trying to shake it up,” said Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria. “If you don’t want them to increase arms shipments, what is your solution? The answer can’t be ‘We’re going to bomb Daesh.’ ” "

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