HELPING SYRIANS REQUIRES U.S. COLLABORATION WITH ALLIES

The Washington Post
May 7, 2015 

The May 3 editorial “A shift on the ground in Syria” highlighted the need for a clear and comprehensive U.S. strategy on Syria. While most media have focused on the Islamic State, it is just one element of the reality of today’s Syria. The use of “barrel bombs” and chemical weapons by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has driven nearly 4 million Syrians from their homes and reinforces the need for any Syria strategy to address both threats.

One key is the joint training of Syrian rebels by U.S. and Turkish forces. By the end of 2015, more than 2,000 rebels will receive training and weapons through the program to fight against both the Islamic State and the Assad regime. However, as the editorial noted, they will need support after training to ensure that the mission succeeds. Lasting U.S. collaboration with regional allies such as Turkey is critical to the success of future programs and will ensure that the future of Syria will not rest in the hands of either a brutal dictator or a terrorist regime.

Halil Danismaz
President, Turkish Heritage Organization