In a very Orwellian turn of events, the Obama administration is mulling the prospect of air strikes in Syria, against militants that it supported less than a year ago during the effort to oust The Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
The Hill reports that the President is weighing up a possible air offensive in Syria on the terror camps of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“We don’t restrict potential U.S. action to a specific geographic space,” a senior administration official said when asked whether military action could extend into Syria.
“The president’s made clear time and again that we will take action as necessary, including direct U.S. military action, if it’s necessary to defend the United States against an imminent threat,” the official said.
The ISIS terror group has taken control of swathes of Iraq in recent weeks, seemingly rising up out of nowhere. Republicans have blamed the Obama administration for pulling troops from Iraq. However, the president has claimed that it was not his decision to do so, and that his administration was facilitating the wishes of the Iraqi government.
“Clearly we’re focused on Iraq. That’s where our ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] resources have surged. That’s where we’re working to develop additional intelligence,” the official added.
“But the group [ISIS], again, operates broadly and we would not restrict our ability to take action that is necessary to protect the United States.” the source noted.
Should US missiles rain down on the militants in Syria, it would mark an incredible turn around of events.
Just over a year ago, the administration green lighted the arming and training of militants in Syria, despite intelligence indicating that they had direct links to extremist groups.
The president even took executive action to waive prohibitions under the Arms Export Control Act, to enable the arming of “vetted” opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Assad.
A year on, and Obama officials have admitted to the arming of “moderate” militants in Syria, despite the fact that it is known that the weapons supplied by the US have been transfered to Islamic extremists.
The administration is also engaged in facilitating civil war in both Iraq and Syria, by providing resources and training to moderate fighters in order to counter the rise of “Al-Qaeda-linked extremists.”
Yet, it has been extensively documented that such moderate groups also run joint operations with al-Qaeda proxy groups in Syria, the very same that the US government says it is now attempting to counter, and the same groups that the Syrian and Iraqi armies have been engaged in bloody battles with.
In addition, there is compelling evidence to show that the ISIS group itself was trained directly by the US military at a secret base in Jordan in 2012 to run operations along the Syrian/Turkish border.
The Obama administration is also weighing air strikes in Iraq, a proposition that some say would equate to a fresh act of war on the country.
Sen. Rand Paul said yesterday that Obama should seek new authorization from Congress before taking military action in Iraq, saying it would be “absurd” to rely on the 2001 authorization to use military force.
“This is a debate we’ve had and the Obama administration as well as many Republicans think that you can stay at war forever based on [the] 2001 use of authorization of force,” Paul told reporters Thursday. “I don’t agree with that. I don’t think one generation can commit another generation to war forever.”
“Can one vote in Congress in 2001 say that we are at war forever, anywhere, anytime around the world? I think that’s absurd,” Paul continued. “And I think if the American people could weigh in on it they would be horrified to think that a vote with no geographic limit and time limit and no limit upon what enemies. I think it’s an untenable position.”
“This is precisely why we should have repealed the AUMF a couple of years ago when I tried to repeal it. Now we are in a situation where no one is going to want to talk about it,” Paul said.
In further comments, Paul noted that there are “many questions” that need to be addressed before the U.S. proceeds with any military action “What would air strikes accomplish? We know that Iran is aiding the Iraqi government against ISIS. Do we want to, in effect, become Iran’s air force? What’s in this for Iran? Why should we choose a side, and if we do, who are we really helping?” the Senator stated.
On the prospect of US troops returning to Iraq, Paul noted that for a decade now the US has funneled aid to the Iraqi army and “you gotta wonder what’s happened to all the money.”
“You can’t ask American soldiers to defend territory the Iraqis are unwilling to defend themselves,” Paul added.
In a later appearance on Fox News, the Senator echoed all of these previous comments.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.