Martin Reardon Quoted in POLYGRAPH.info: Russian MP: U.S. Playing Into Terrorists’ Hands in Syria
May 24, 2017
On May 18, U.S. warplanes launched an airstrike in the area of al-Tanf near Syria’s border with Jordan, reportedly hitting pro-government forces who were setting up fighting positions inside the deconfliction zone in violation of an agreement between the U.S. and Russia. A U.S. army base where special forces are training Syrian militias is located in the area …
… Duma Foreign relations Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky … accused the U.S. of “playing into the hands” of terrorist groups – namely, Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra …
“The claim by Mr. Slutsky that the U.S. is undermining the forces aligned against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra (now known as Jabhat Fateh al Sham) is not accurate,” Martin Reardon, senior vice president of The Soufan Group, an American think-tank focused on terrorism analysis, told Polygraph.info.
“The U.S. and its coalition partners have focused on degrading ISIS capabilities for over 2 1/2 years now – both from the air and with special forces units supporting Iraqi military and Syrian rebel ground attacks against them,” Reardon said. “In fact, it is largely due to that support that ISIS has lost so much territory in Iraq and Syria, not to mention thousands of fighters …”
Reardon noted that hitting Jabhat Fateh al Sham (JFS) has been “more challenging since they routinely operate with or in close proximity to other rebel forces supported by the coalition.”
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