The additional US Special Operations Forces deployed to Syria should wage a war against the Daesh, not a parallel US war against Syrian President Bashar Assad, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard told Sputnik.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — Gabbard criticized the US alliance with Syrian moderate rebels which she described as “completely intertwined” with Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front) and al-Qaeda.
“There are two wars that the US is waging in Syria right now, one is the war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad…the other war is to defeat ISIS [Daesh],” Gabbard said on Wednesday.
Gabbard said she supports Obama’s decision to deploy the additional forces, if they are partnering with Kurdish forces in northern Syria to defeat Daesh.
“If they are working with [the] so-called Syrian moderate opposition, who are fighting to overthrow Assad, then they should not be doing that,” Gabbard stated. “They shouldn’t be there if that is the mission they have been given.”
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama ordered 250 additional Special Operations Forces to go to Syria to engage in a non-combat role. The Pentagon reported that the additional forces will be providing support to the regional forces engaged in the fight against Daesh.
Providing training and assistance to jihadist-linked rebels in Syria is “completely counterproductive and is undermining the war that we should be focusing on, which is to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda and these other Islamic extremist groups,” she asserted.
In 2015, the Pentagon embarked on a failed $500 million train and equip mission, which vetted Syrian rebels to fight exclusively against Islamic State forces. The failure of the 2015 program led the Pentagon to loosen requirements for Syrian rebels, opening the pool of recruits to leaders of armed groups that also sought to overthrow the Assad government.