June 4, 2015 | Quote

The Startlingly Simple Reason Obama Ignores Syria

While the US embassy in Syria accuses Syrian President Bashar Assad of acting as an air force for the Islamic State, the Obama administration does not seem to be concerning itself with the Syrian regime.

“The president feels very strongly that the very significant problems that are faced by people in Syria, for example, are not problems that the United States is going to come in and solve for them,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said recently.

It's becoming clear that the Obama administration's determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran most likely informed its decision to refrain from intervening in the Syrian civil war.


“The administration's Syria policy has been predicated on the White House's desire for a deal with Iran and its care to accommodate Iranian interests in Syria, which he [Obama] saw as an Iranian sphere of influence,” Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Business Insider via email.

The pattern has been emerging for years, and it has accelerated ever since Assad crossed Obama's supposed “red line” by using chemical weapons to kill 1,500 people in August 2013.

After Obama announced on August 31, 2013, that he had decided to launch limited airstrikes inside Syria, based on congressional approval, Iran “embarked on a PR offensive,” Badran said, threatening to retaliate against America and Israel if any US-led attempts were made on Assad's life.

The Obama administration subsequently began characterizing Iran not only as a useful buffer between the US and Syria — the US reportedly urged both Iran and Russia to “reinforce” the US' warnings to Assad — but also as a potential partner in getting Assad to stop slaughtering his people.

Throughout this period, the administration “may have been signaling to Tehran it had no desire to escalate beyond 'limited and proportionate' strikes related exclusively to Assad's use of chemical weapons,” Badran said.


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