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This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

Aljazeera Arabic reports on the reaction in Syria to US air strikes against ISIL, which included attacks on Wednesday on their oil installations, an important revenue stream for the terrorist organization. It turns out that the Damascus press is giving President Obama an uncomfortable embrace.

This kind of talk is deadly to the political mission Obama is embarked on, and there is already talk of anger at him among the Syrian rebels for not striking at key government buildings.

The newspaper “al-Watan” (The Nation), which is close to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, quoted Syrian diplomatic sources as saying that “The US military leadership is now fighting in the same trenches with the Syrian generals, in a war on terrorism inside Syria and on its eastern and southeastern borders.” This is true, the Syrian diplomats said, even though Washington and Damascus cannot acknowledge the cooperation for internal political reasons.

They added that “the Syrian Army will certainly benefit from the American air strikes, especially since it is the strongest force on the ground, possessing both power and flexibility in the way it moves around in the field. It is the one that will benefit from the air strikes.”

The Syrian ambassador to the UN was also delighted that the UN Security Council has adopted a resolution condemning the trafficking to Syria of a wide range of would-be guerrillas.

Obviously there are forces in Damascus who feel that the American intervention is a positive for President Assad.


ABC News: “US, Allies Hit Islamic State, Al-Qaida Affiliate in Syria”

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