Britain will not collaborate with Assad to combat Islamic State

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 23, 2014
Comments Off on Britain will not collaborate with Assad to combat Islamic State

imgBritain will not work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to combat Islamic State (IS) fighters in the country and his permission would not be needed for any military intervention, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Friday.

Hammond also said Britain had no plans to arm moderate fighters in Syria’s civil war, and insisted that Western troops on the ground in Iraq would only make the situation worse.

Responding to comments made by former army chief Richard Dannatt, who argued that Britain should consider some kind of alliance with Assad, Hammond warned that it would deepen sectarian rifts in the region.

“We may very well find that we are fighting, on some occasions, the same people that he is but that doesn’t make us his ally,” Hammond told BBC radio.

“One of the first things you learn in the Middle East is that my enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend.

“It would poison what we are trying to achieve in separating moderate Sunni opinion from the poisonous ideology of IS,” he added.

Hammond also doubted Dannatt’s claims that any intervention to oust IS in Syria would need Assad’s approval.

“I don’t know where the idea comes from that Assad has to assent to a military intervention in his country. There is a civil war raging in his country,” he said.

Britain could use its “military prowess” as part of any international attempts to halt IS’s advance, but would not send be sending ground troops, Hammond added.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.