Hariri Center Resident Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof speaks to The Economist on ISIS: 

Moreover, IS presents a threat beyond Iraq and Syria. “First, they may not be imminent but it’s only a matter of time before transnational operations are launched,” says Fred Hof, a former State Department man now at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think-tank. “Second, nationals who return home pose a threat.”

…Mr Assad has previously tended to leave IS alone, happy to let it hurt the more moderate rebels. But recently his air force has struck the group’s base in Raqqa. The Americans have so far decided that they cannot do likewise, deeming that they must not be seen to operate on the same side as the man whose overthrow they have repeatedly demanded.

But they may be persuaded to change their mind if the most influential governments in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and even Iran, were able in joint or parallel statements to endorse the bombing of IS in Syria—or at least to abstain from opposing it. So far the West has lacked a policy that spans national borders. Yet Mr Hof points out that “IS is a problem that transcends national boundaries and has to be approached as a problem that transcends nationalist boundaries.”

Read the article here.

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