U.S. warns Syria against fighting rebels
It looks like Washington has officially taken sides in Syria's civil war. We are now on ISIS's side.
The United States warned Syria on Friday it would take “firm and appropriate measures” in response to ceasefire violations, saying it was concerned about reports of an impending military operation in a de-escalation zone in the country’s southwest.
Washington also cautioned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against broadening the conflict.
“As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement late on Friday.
A war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported on Wednesday that Syrian government forces fresh from their victory this week against an Islamic State pocket in south Damascus were moving into the southern province of Deraa.
The Assad government has taken all the suburbs of Damascus, plus all of Homs. So the next obvious region of Syria controlled by rebels, that isn't directly protected by either Turkey or U.S. forces, is in the south.
The Syrian government has massed troops near Daraa, and intend to take back the area regardless of U.S. threats.
A Syrian state-run newspaper said Monday that the government will keep fighting “terrorists” despite U.S. warnings against a new offensive against rebels in southern Daraa province, while Russia said Syrian troops should deploy in the country’s southwest, near Israel.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Syrian troops should be positioned on the border with the Golan Heights, which have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Mideast war. The area between Daraa and the Golan Heights has emerged as a flashpoint in a wider standoff between Israel and Iran, and the United States has warned it will take action to protect a cease-fire there.
While it's true that the Daraa area is a cease-fire zone, there is an exception in that agreement - ISIS.
One of the last area's in Syria under ISIS control is on the border of Israel and Jordan. Much of the surrounding area is controlled by al-Qaeda.
Thus, by preventing a Syrian offensive in the Daraa area we are protecting ISIS.