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Former U.S. ambassador to Syria urges support for moderate rebels

Friday, September 12, 2014 - 01:52

Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford says claims that there are no moderate rebels to fight against Islamic State are false. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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U.S. Navy releases new video of fighter jets launching from an aircraft carrier in the Gulf on September 11. Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama authorized the U.S. Central Command to conduct targeted air strikes in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel and interests. This week he asked the U.S. Congress to authorize aid for rebel groups fighting in Syria. Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford says claims that there are no moderate rebels to fight against IS are false. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SYRIA, ROBERT FORD, SAYING: "To say that they are not there, there isn't much to work with, I just think it's completely wrong. It's just a bad analysis." Ford says the dynamics in the region that need to be understood. SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SYRIA, ROBERT FORD, SAYING: "The biggest problem in Iraq and Syria is that there's a very disgruntled Sunni Arab community, minority in Iraq -- potent minority in Iraq, a majority in Syria. And not saying the solution is one broad solution, but the Islamic State problem comes out of that Sunni Arab communities' dissatisfaction. And so going forward, we have to be sensitive to that." Obama's plan to fight Islamic State militants in both Iraq and Syria thrusts the U.S. directly into the midst of two different wars, in which nearly every country in the region has a stake and alliances have shifted with strategy dominated a more than thousand year old rift between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

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Former U.S. ambassador to Syria urges support for moderate rebels

Friday, September 12, 2014 - 01:52