Bloomberg quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof on potential US airstrikes in Syria:
Concern about Islamic State “does not indicate a change in our view and concerns about the Assad regime and the horrific acts they’ve done against their own people,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Aug. 26.
Still, “Assad and his minions” are fueling the idea of cooperation with Assad to drive a wedge between the U.S. and the Sunni Arab nations that the U.S. is seeking to rally against IS, said Fred Hof, who until last year served as Obama’s ambassador-at-large on the Syria crisis.
“We’ve had to work overtime to convince Saudis that we’ll remain opposed to Assad, that there’s no plot, no fix,” Hof, now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said in an interview yesterday. He said that should include increasing help for what the Obama administration considers moderate rebel factions as evidence that the U.S. remains committed to Assad’s ouster.