But the administration’s slow move towards action is almost certainly too late for ISIS’s foes in the moderate Syrian opposition, which is badly outgunned and simultaneously losing two wars on two fronts, one against the Assad regime and one against the Islamic extremists. Shortly after being elected last month, the new president of the Syrian National Council, Hadi al-Bahra, sent the Obama administration a proposed framework for cooperating against ISIS.
“The ISIS terrorist army and its Assad enablers pose an existential threat to the Syrian people and to the region of the security as a whole,” al-Bahra wrote. “The Free Syrian Army has demonstrated that it is a capable and willing partner in the fight against terror. We ask that we move forward together in implementing this action plan before it is too late.”
Arming the Syrian opposition is risky and airstrikes against ISIS in Syria would be even risker, because the U.S. does not have support on the ground. But even Obama’s supporters of said that the President now has to figure out what to do next. And whatever that is, it must address ISIS’s growing influence in both Iraq and Syria.