Former U.S. Intel Analyst: Syria ‘Descending into Hell’

Nearly a quarter of a million deaths as Syrian government launches chemical weapons attacks, terrorist groups flourish 

Barrel bomb attack by regime forces on "Jasr al-Haj" neighbourhood of Aleppo caused the deaths of 60 people on May 12, 2015
Barrel bomb attack by regime forces on "Jasr al-Haj" neighbourhood of Aleppo caused the deaths of 60 people on May 12, 2015 / AP

President Barack Obama has failed to help prevent Syria from degenerating into a hell on earth, according to a former U.S. intelligence analyst.

Robert Davis, a retired intelligence analyst who worked with the Army Special Operations Command and the CIA, wrote in the Hill that Syria is "descending into Hell":

To quote Churchill, "a long night of barbarism is descending, unbroken even by a star of hope."  Syrians are in Dante’s "outlying region of Hell, where souls … must run in a futile chase after a black banner."  That banner is the banner of evil.  It is the banner of a Sunni jihadism reminiscent of the Dark Ages and the banner of Iranian imperialism and Shiite sectarianism.

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The statistics are telling.  The death toll in the Syrian civil war approaches a quarter of a million.  The conflict has displaced millions of Syrians, perhaps one-fourth of the population.

Obama’s low op-tempo bombings gave Kurds tenuous control of much of Syrian Kurdistan.  However, the bombings did not degrade, let alone destroy, ISIS.  ISIS has captured Palmyra and surrounding oil fields.  It has seized a nearby Army base, showing it was a match for the Syrian military.

ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, now controls half of Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Davis also noted that the al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) has allied with other rebel groups and is pushing toward the seat of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus:

The JN coalition has modern, heavy weaponry, having seized military bases.  It has tanks, BMP infantry vehicles, rockets, anti-aircraft guns, and anti-tank missiles.  JN has the support of four foreign AQ-affiliated contingents, including the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP).  A TIP emir, killed by a drone, once commanded AQ fighters along the Pakistani-Afghan border.

Davis said "Obama’s Syria strategy is a failure"for its inability to provide assistance to more moderate rebels that could battle Assad and terrorist groups, halt Assad’s chemical weapons attacks, or contain the regional ambitions of Iran, Assad’s ally:

An already horrific situation has gotten worse.  The U.S. president outraged the Syrian opposition and Sunni world, effectively renouncing his 2011 commitment to seek Assad’s ouster.  Syria, Iran, and Russia made a mockery of his boast that he would rid Syria of chemical weapons.  ISIS is stronger, not weaker, despite the U.S. goal of degrading and destroying it.  Syria has become an AQ bastion and potential terrorist staging ground.