Categorized | Levy_Lloyd, Middle East

Allies fight with and against Al Qaida in Syria, Iraq

By Lloyd Levy

Lloyd Levy

Lloyd Levy

LONDON–There is much controversy in the UK, as to whether or not we should start bombing ISIS in Syria. It is appropriate that we are approaching Christmas, where Pantomime is a hugely popular attraction. If the situation wasn’t so terrible, it would be as mad as a Pantomime story.

ISIS, ISIL, or Daish, being the same thing under different names, has set up a Caliphate in large tracts of Syria and Iraq. A Caliphate is a specific Muslim entity, which hasn’t existed since the defeat of the Turkish Caliphate after WWI. ISIS is not significantly different from al-Qaida, and indeed did spring out of the al Qaida affiliate in Iraq. Their ideology comes from the same roots, namely the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the only difference being their various interpretations of verses in the Koran. Al Qaida and ISIS are largely Sunni Muslims, as opposed to Shia Muslims.

This is where the story starts to get as mad as a Pantomime story.

In Iraq, the “West” is fighting with the Shia against al-Qaida. We are effectively the air force of Iran and the Shia, against the Sunnis.

However, next door in Syria, we are fighting with al-Qaida against the Shia dominated coalition of President Assad. So in Syria we are the Sunni air force.

Why the West is determined to get rid of Assad is a puzzle to me. He is a secular leader, ruling through a non religious socialist party called the Baath, which is a branch of the same party that Saddam Hussein headed up in Iraq. Thus the West is trying to overthrow a secular leader, and replace him by al-Qaida affiliates, which we are now calling “moderate” rebels.

As far as Britain is concerned, we are anyway doing our part by bombing al Qaida in Iraq, at the Iraqi Government’s request. However the British Government now wants to bomb Syria, in alliance with al-Qaida, which obviously is not at the Syrian Governments request. So that is controversial, added to the fact that it is a largely symbolic move, as we don’t have enough aircraft to make much difference to the campaign.

Meanwhile anyway, Russia has sealed off a large portion of the airspace of  Syria to hostile air forces, and even USA and Turkey have apparently stopped their flights. So is Britain going to actually fly over Syria under these circumstances ?  I think not.

I suppose Britain wants to show solidarity with its “Allies, but it just adds to the madness that seems to pass as Western policy in the area”.

It will be interesting to see if the British Parliament does vote to attack Syria. The votes are in the balance, with much disquiet as to whether we are just repeating our disastrous forays into Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Levy is a freelance writer who divides his time between London and Eilat.  He may be contacted via [email protected]


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