Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he supports international efforts against terrorism and was informed in advance of the airstrikes. CCTV America’s Alaa Ebrahim is in Damascus with more reaction.
The gravity of the threat and the complex politics of the problem of Islamic State led to Syrian President Bashar Assad giving an indirect nod of approval to the airstrikes in his own country, saying he supported “any international anti-terrorism effort.” There has been concern among U.S. officials that any strikes against militants fighting Assad could be seen as inadvertently helping the leader whom Obama wants to see ousted from power.
Meanwhile, the western-backed coalition of opposition powers in Syria has welcomed the American raids, asking the U.S to step up its support for rebels.However, there are reports that the U.S is not only targeting the Islamic State, but also the headquarters for the Nusra Front, a self-proclaimed branch of Al-Qaeda that is considered the most power rebel faction in Syria.
The American raids will change the dynamics of the Syrian conflict. But will it be restricted to just the Islamic State, or include other radical rebel factions with the same extremist ideology. And how will it affect the delicate balance of power between the government and the rebels? These questions only time will answer.