Syria dilemma for the US

Updated: 2014-10-27 10:08

By Li Yang(

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The enemy’s enemy may be still enemy. This is the dilemma the United States meets in Syria. The US and its allies have bombed the military forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) for many days without yielding concrete combat successes. The US also dropped some weapons for the Kurdish militia. But it has been reported that some weapons have been grabbed by the ISIS forces, despite the US army’s denial. It is difficult for the US to tell friends from enemies in Syria. That’s an important reason why the US insists its land forces should not be dispatched to the mire, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

Different forces appear in the battlefield of North Syria. There are ISIS forces, government army and rebels. The rebels are made up of different factions. It is understandable that the US air-drops fell in hands of the US’ enemy.

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the Syria issue cannot be solved by military measures, and political solutions are the key.

The civil war in Syria is not an anti-terrorism war like the one in Afghanistan or Iraq, where the US clearly knew who the enemy was. The ISIS is not a state force. If the US regards ISIS as its main foe, its bombing must cover a large area extending from Syria to Iraq.

ISIS’ power does not originate from its control over land, but its ideology. Some citizens from the United Kingdom and Australia go to Iraq and Syria to join the organization to fight the US and its allies. This is a war between the US and an ideology. The US cannot win it by conventional combat strategies and actions.

ISIS used to be a faction of the opponents in Syria three years ago. Now, it is already a collection of different factions united under its extreme ideology. To some extent, ISIS is a byproduct of the international community’s failure of solving Syria crisis in such a long time.

War has its own logic. The US dropping of weapons to its alliances from the air is a testimony to the escalation of the war. When its alliances cannot fulfill their jobs, the US will be involved at last in the war with the unconventional foes united by an ideology.