Sources: Obama seeks new Syria strategy review to deal with ISIS, al-Assad

President Obama has asked his national security team for another review of the U.S. policy toward Syria after realizing the current strategy might be flawed.


President Barack Obama has realized ISIS may not be defeated without a political transition in Syria and the removal of President Bashar al-Assad; ordering a review; tacit admission that the initial (U.S.) strategy of trying to confront ISIS first in Iraq and then take the group’s fighters on in Syria, without also focusing on the removal of al-Assad, is a mistake; the ‘Iraq first’ strategy now appears untenable.

Developments on the ground have caused the national security team to collectively conclude we may not have time for Iraq first. In an ideal world you would drive [ISIS] out of Iraq and pivot to Syria. But if by then the moderate opposition has been smacked and [ISIS] is still there, that doesn’t help,

According to to Ben Rhodes, deputy national security team adviser;

 ‘I think the President wants to make sure that we’re asking hard questions about what we’re targeting in Syria, how we’re able to degrade ISIS but also how we’re supporting opposition and building them up as a counterweight to ISIS; but also; ultimately, of course, to the Assad regime."

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