Al Jazeera America quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani on efforts to build a coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham:
The U.S. does not believe that Sunni Arab states alone hold the answer to the Sunni problem of ISIL, said Faysal Itani, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center in Washington, D.C. “They don’t, and in fact, Sunni Arab states have contributed to this problem,” he said. “What the U.S. wants is diplomatic cover to what will be a very sensitive campaign, which could be seen as targeting Sunnis.”
As long as the U.S. reins in its fiercely anti-Assad allies, and continues to skirt around direct confrontation with the Syrian army, even Iran might have no choice but to allow the Western and Sunni coalition to carry out strikes in sovereign Syrian territory.
“They’ll make noises, but at the end of the day, what are they going to do?” Itani said. “They can’t take on ISIL alone.”