Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: US doesn’t want direct confrontation with Russia in Syria

Press TV. Listen here:

The United States does not want a direct military confrontation with Russian forces in Syria, an American political analyst based in Virginia says.

But the primary objective of the Obama administration is the overthrow of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with the assistance of terrorist groups including Daesh (ISIL), said Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of

Preston made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV while commenting on a statement by Republican Senator Bob Corker, who said on Wednesday that the Pentagon should target both the Assad government and ISIL.

Corker’s comments came shortly after Russia carried out its first airstrikes against ISIL terrorists near the Syrian city of Homs.

“The Obama administration seems to be pulling back from waging the war on ISIS,” Preston said, using an alternative acronym for the terrorist group, which is operating in Syria and Iraq.

“They are conducting military operations against ISIS, but I don’t think the total destruction of ISIS is something they are really that motivated to achieve, because they see ISIS as the weapon against the Assad regime,” he said.

“I think that the first objective of the American foreign policy in Syria is to bring down the Assad regime. They see ISIS as perhaps the useful force towards that end, but they are also concerned ISIS potentially threatening American allies,” the analyst noted.

“Now that the Russian have gotten involved, I think the Obama administration really doesn’t want a direct confrontation with the Russians,” he observed.

“Bob Corker comes from the opposition party, from the Republicans, which take a more hard-line perspective on foreign policy than the Obama administration,” Preston said. “He seems to be more eager for a confrontation with the Russians.”

“I think he wants [the US] to fight ISIS more aggressively and tries to take down the Assad [government] at the same time. And that’s totally unrealistic objective, because there’s no viable alternative in Syria,” he pointed out.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

Daesh terrorists, with members from several Western countries, have been active in Iraq, Syria and more recently in Libya, committing acts of terror against people of different religious and ethnic communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.

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