NOW quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof on a new round of surprise US attacks against Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham targets:
This perception may not only alienate members of the moderate Syrian opposition — whom Washington officially intends to turn into a 15,000-strong allied force over the next three years — but indeed endanger them, according to Frederic Hof, Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and former State Department special adviser on Syria.
“There is a question of timing that has to be taken into account here,” Hof told NOW. “We have a combination of speaking about additional assistance to nationalist opposition forces while hitting Nusra. The effect of that is basically to paint a bull’s-eye on the backs of the nationalist opposition and to encourage Nusra to get into the same game as the regime and ISIS, which is to try to finish these guys off as quickly as possible.”
Accordingly, Hof argues the current course of the US campaign in Syria runs contrary not just to the interests of the opposition but the stated policy of Washington itself.
“Several weeks ago out at Joint Base Andrews the president indicated a fundamental shift in American policy when he talked about supporting governance by the moderate opposition inside Syria by extending that governance and a sense of political legitimacy to all Syrians,” Hof told NOW.