01 Jul '17, 5pm

Analysis: Can ISIS be ousted from Syria without Assad's help?

BEIRUT — As the U.S.-led coalition tightens the noose around the Islamic State group in Syria, President Bashar Assad's Iranian-backed troops are also seizing back territory from the militants with little protest from Washington, a sign of how American options are limited without a powerful ally on the ground. Washington is loath to cooperate with Assad's internationally ostracized government. But it will be difficult to uproot ISIS militants and keep them out with only the Kurdish and Arab militias backed by the U.S. — and a coalition spokesman pointed out that Assad's gains ease the burden on those forces. Letting Assad grab ISIS territory, however, risks being seen as the U.S. legitimizing his continued rule and would likely strengthen his hand in his war against the already struggling rebellion. It also threatens to further empower Assad's allies, Iran and the Lebanese...

Full article: http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/analysis-can-isis-b...

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