Published on Aug 5, 2015
A decision by Washington to provide air cover for US-trained militants in Syria is an escalation of American military involvement in that country to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, a peace activist and analyst in Washington says. “Why an authorization would be required under the current circumstances if not for the projection of a possible escalation of military conflict later against the Assad government?” said Brian Becker, the national coordinator for the ANSWER Coalition, a US-based protest umbrella group consisting of many antiwar and civil rights organizations. In a move to increase pressure on the Syrian government, the Obama administration authorized on Sunday the use of airstrikes to defend US-trained militants if they come under attack by the government forces or other groups. “This is another step by step incremental escalation of US involvement in Syria,” Becker told Press TV on Saturday. “Ultimately we must consider this military escalation will be used against the Assad government.”
“Moreover, the announcement comes just one week after the US-Turkish agreement to create a de facto no-fly zone in northern Syria, which means that US and Turkish aircraft have complete control over a sovereign part of Syrian territory,” the analyst noted. Becker said the area would become “a military beachhead for the further projection of US military power into Syria.” The new rules that the Pentagon recommended and Obama approved will apply only to militant forces trained and equipped by the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. White House National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said the Obama administration has made clear it will “take the steps necessary to ensure that these forces could successfully carry out their mission.” In May, the US military launched program to train up to 5,400 militants a year to fight the ISIL terrorist group. Analysts, however, say many of the US-trained militants could eventually find themselves on the side of the ISIL Takfiris against a common enemy on the ground — the Syrian government forces. US-led airstrikes targeting ISIL in Syria and Iraq likely have killed hundreds of civilians, according to a report by an independent monitoring group released on Monday.