17:00 GMT +316 July 2019
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    It Doesn't Make Sense for Washington to 'Expand Its List of Enemies in Syria'

    © AFP 2019 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
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    The United States should focus on defeating Daesh instead of making more enemies in Syria, prominent US political commentator Patrick J. Buchanan wrote for the American Conservative, adding that Washington and its regional allies cannot remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad without risking a war with Russia.

    Moscow has helped Damascus to turn the tide of the Syrian war and this trend is irreversible unless Washington decides to drastically increase its military presence in the Middle East. In fact, "Assad and his allies intend to end this war — by winning it," the commentator observed.

    If the US tries to prevent this from happening, it will escalate tensions with Russia. For Buchanan, this is not a smart strategy.

    "The American people have no stomach for a new war in Syria. Nor does it make sense to expand our enemies list in that bleeding and broken country – from [Daesh] and the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front – to Syria's armed forces, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah," he said.

    Policymakers in Washington have to understand that they can only degrade and destroy terrorists in Syria as part of a larger coalition that would include Turkey and the Kurds, as well as Damascus, Moscow and Tehran, he added.

    "As of today, there is no possibility that the rebels we back could defeat [Daesh] and the al-Nusra Front, let alone bring down Bashar Assad and run the Russians, Hezbollah, Iran and the Iraqi Shiite militias out of Syria," the political commentator noted.

    In Buchanan's opinion, a military intervention is also not an option. Barack Obama will not launch a campaign to send ground troops to Syria at a time when the nation is tired of Washington's military adventures abroad and on the eve of the presidential vote. Even if he changed his mind, US Congress would not authorize another war in the Middle East.

    "Time to stop the killing, stop the carnage, stop the war and get the best terms for peace we can get. For continuing this war, when the prospects of victory are nil, raises its own question of morality," Buchanan noted.

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    Tags:
    military intervention, counterterrorism, Syrian crisis, Syrian conflict, Bashar al-Assad, Middle East, Syria, United States, Russia
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