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PRESS RELEASE


Al-Monitor Calls on U.S. To Accept Russian Proposal for Joint Bombing Campaign against ISIS and Nusra Front

May 23, 2016 (EIRNS)—Al-Monitor, a prominent news outlet covering the Middle East, published an unusual editorial by its Week in Review team, calling on the Obama Administration to take up the Russian proposal for a joint bombing campaign in Syria against the Islamic State and Nusra Front. After detailing the May 19 proposal by Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, the Al-Monitor editorial stated,

“For our part, we find the Russian offer, at minimum, worth exploring, and would encourage steps toward joint action. The United States and Russia are aligned, in accordance with numerous UN Security Council resolutions, in efforts to defeat Jabhat al-Nusra and IS... There is no viable political settlement or cessation of hostilities in Syria without an eventual military defeat of both organizations.”

The editorial dismissed the idea of an expanded train-and-equip program for Syrian rebel forces, which has failed repeatedly in the past. It also denounced the U.S. for blocking Russian efforts to get two Saudi-backed salafist groups, Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam, onto the UN Security Council list of terrorist organizations. The two groups have engaged in joint military operations with Nusra repeatedly, in violation of the ceasefire agreements. In fact, Al-Monitor noted a May 21 report from McClatchy News that a top leader of Ahrar al-Sham, Labib al-Nahhas, was allowed to travel to Washington last December, where he lobbied for American support with leading U.S. think tanks. Al-Monitor concluded:

“It is a matter of record, not speculation, that Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam have flourished and ‘commingled’ with Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as committing sectarian atrocities of their own. And by the way, an ally of al- Qaeda—even just a sometime one—should be a nonstarter.”