According to Bloomberg Business, which cited an Interfax account of a conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the press that ISIS’ strength “became possible partly due to irresponsible U.S. politics.” Medvedev stated it was because Mr. Obama was more focused on his ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while ignoring the growth and atrocities of ISIS. Western Journalism reported that Obama grossly underestimated the growth and strength of ISIS, calling ISIS the “JV team” and claiming as late as last week that ISIS was “contained.”
Mendvedev reportedly likened the growth of ISIS to the growth of al Qaeda, which resulted in the 9/11 bombings in New York in 2001.
Yet, even with the recent Russian criticism, it appears as though Mr. Obama is still focused on Assad’s ouster and not on unifying with Russia against ISIS. According to Bloomberg Business’ report, Obama said, “It is not conceivable that Mr. Assad can regain legitimacy in a country in which a large majority of that country despises Assad, and will not stop fighting so long as he’s in power.” And Obama reportedly said, “Russia has not officially committed to a transition of Assad moving out but they did agree to a political transition process…And I think we’ll find out over the next several weeks whether or not we can bring about that change in perspective with the Russians.”
It is unlikely that the ouster of Assad will lead to peace in the Middle East. ISIS has already claimed responsibility for its attack in Paris. The terrorist organization continues to strike targets outside of Syria. Mark Hensch of The Hill wrote, “ISIS has claimed responsibility for a string of terrorist attacks across Paris that killed 130 people and wounded more than 300 others. It has also taken credit for bombing a Russian passenger jet and killing 224 people late last month.”
Assad is fighting ISIS as well, alongside Russia, Cuba, and Iran. Assad’s departure would only result in ISIS being able to claim Syria as a permanent Islamic state and base of operations to conduct its worldwide terror campaign in its quest to create an Islamic caliphate.