Christian Science Monitor quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof on whether the United States will cooperate with the Assad regime to combat the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham:

“In a very disciplined way, Bashar al-Assad is trying to maneuver the US into collaborating with him against ISIS in eastern Syria, even as he stands aside while ISIS tries to finish off the nationalist Syrian opposition in western Syria,” says Frederic C. Hof, senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and a former State Department adviser on Syrian affairs. “This appearance of collaboration [between Damascus and Washington] will, in Assad’s view, facilitate his eventual return to polite society while promoting tension between Washington and its Gulf partners.”

Mr. Hof, a strong critic of the Obama administration’s Syria policy, adds, “The US has inadvertently facilitated the prospect of this dilemma taking hold by failing adequately to support the Syrian nationalist forces who have been fighting both the regime and ISIS.  If those forces become neutralized the dilemma takes hold.”

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