America's ongoing insistence on wanting Syria's President, Bashar al-Assad, removed from power continues to hinder American policy on removing Islamic State as a threat to international peace and security.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly made it patently clear to America on 2 June 2015 that the issue of removing Assad as Syria's President should not be confused with removal of Islamic State from the world scene:
The U.S.'s "obsession" with [Syria's President] Assad isn't helping in the common fight against the threat from Islamic State…
People put the fate of one person whom they hate above the fight against terrorism. Islamic State can go "very far" unless stopped, and air strikes alone "are not going to do the trick.
If people continue to acquiesce with what is going on and continue to acquiesce with those who categorically refuse to start the political process until Bashar Assad disappears, then I'm not very optimistic for the future of this region…
America should have:
- accepted Lavrov's sage advice
- acknowledged the ineffectiveness of its coalition led air strikes in preventing Islamic State rapidly expanding its occupation into large areas of Syrian and Iraqi sovereign territory causing the horrific murder, brutal beheading and ethnic cleansing of its civilian populations
- joined Russia in preparing an alternative agreed plan of action to defeat Islamic State
America missed this opportunity - enabling Islamic State to continue its policy of conquest and subjugation contributing to the current refugee crisis now threatening to sink the European Union's capacity to meet the tide of human misery knocking on its door.
Two earlier unanimous UN Security Council Resolutions – Resolutions 2170 and 2199 – had specified measures short of military action aimed at stopping Islamic State.
Both however have failed to halt Islamic State's brutal advance.
Resolution 2170 – passed on 15 August 2014 - clearly enunciated the Security Council's revulsion at Islamic State's territorial grab and genocidal intentions following the self-declaration of Islamic State in June 2014 - stressing:
that terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States, and international and regional organizations to impede, impair, isolate and incapacitate the terrorist threat...
Only a third Security Council resolution urging military action binding on "all States" can hope to meet this Security Council prescription.
American Secretary for State John Kerry has apparently learnt nothing from Lavrov's June warning - declaring mantra-like on 19 September:
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