Anti-IS Efforts Dogged by Lack of Ground Force

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US-led efforts to defeat Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria continue to suffer from the lack of ground forces and weaknesses in the coalition, political analyst Reese Erlich told RIA Novosti.

NEW YORK, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - US-led efforts to defeat Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria continue to suffer from the lack of ground forces and weaknesses in the coalition, political analyst Reese Erlich told RIA Novosti.

“The US is the main military power and directs the air strikes. Somebody will have to fight IS on the ground, and coalition allies certainly won’t,” Erlich said on Tuesday.

“This coalition is doomed from the start. The US will fund and fight this war until organized opposition stops it or the public becomes exhausted. The US is waging an open-ended war with no concern for the long-term well-being of the people in the region,” said the author of Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect.

“In Iraq, the newly formed government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has little support among Sunnis and Kurds, two vital components of any future viable regime,” Erlich said. “The American alliance with Israel and Sunni-led countries, such as Saudi Arabia only angers the Iraqi government, which remains closely allied with Iran.”

The Islamic State group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has fought the Syrian government since 2012. It extended attacks to north and west Iraq in June and declared the creation of an Islamic caliphate.

US President Barack Obama says IS can be routed by US-led airstrikes and by bolstering a ground force of Kurds, Iraqis and moderate elements of Syria’s opposition. Critics say he over-depends on air power, lacks reliable allies to act as ground troops and has no strategy for ending Syria’s civil war.

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