The United States and its allies are aiming to degrade and destroy ever increasing ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). But fighting them in Syria creates a dilemma for the US. Destroying them helps the Bashar al-Assad’s regime which the US is aiming to get rid of. Since Iran and Russia are also helping the Assad regime, any US attempt to defeat ISIS can be construed as working with Iran and Russia too. In Iraq, the US government is criticizing Maliki government’s resistance to include other sectarian fractions in Iraq and call for a unity government without Maliki. Helping to fight ISIS in Iraq then becomes endorsing the Maliki’s policies. To make matters worse, there are no clear group that fits the US criteria or capable of defeating the Syrian regime.
In the meantime, brutal beheadings, killings and religious cleansing by ISIS continues in Syria and Iraq. Iraq still displays a weak army even after billions of dollars spent by the US to train and arm its defense forces. NATO member Turkey is reluctant to provide any support for ground attacks in the neighboring Syria without the support of other nations. The mess in the Middle East is getting more complex by each passing day.