The United States and its allies’ strategy for combating the Islamic State faces “many contradictions,” namely taking action that will likely benefit Syrian president Bashar Assad, warned NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel.
“They’re living in a delusion,” he said on MSNBC on Monday.
He explained that even though the U.S. and others have no intention of aiding Assad, launching air strikes against the Islamic State will do exactly that and will strengthen his regime, as well as potentially Iran’s. “If the airstrikes happen, Assad is going to benefit — it is Assad’s forces and Iran’s forces that are going to move in and take that territory,” Engel said.
Ultimately, helping Assad regain ground in the country, while also refusing to work with the president is an inconsistent policy, he said.
“That’s a fundamental contradiction, one of many contradictions that will emerge the deeper they dig into this,” Engel said.