The Poison Tree

Arab protesters wave Islamic flags in front of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel / AP

Last month, addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Benjamin Netanyahu made a connection between the Islamic State and Hamas. These terrorist entities, Netanyahu said, have a lot in common. Separated by geography, they nonetheless share ideology and tactics and goals: Islamism, terrorism, the destruction of Israel, and the establishment of a global caliphate.

And yet, Netanyahu observed, the very nations now campaigning against the Islamic State treated Hamas like a legitimate combatant during last summer’s Israel-Gaza war. “They evidently don’t understand,” he said, “that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”

Assad Strikes Hard Against Moderate Rebels, Doesn’t Touch ISIL

Bashar al-Assad / AP

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have intensified their attacks on more moderate rebels battling his government while avoiding strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), the New York Times reports, suggesting that the Syrian regime has a plan to benefit from anticipated U.S. strikes narrowly targeting ISIL in Syria.

House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels

A rebel fighter takes a position as he fires his weapon towards forces loyal to Syria's President Assad who are stationed in Wadi al-Deif military camp in Idlib province

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved President Barack Obama’s plan on Wednesday to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, but questions remain over whether it will give them the advanced weapons they say they need to defeat Islamic State militants.