The Syrian civil war is so complex that I resorted to reading Wikipedia to try to get a handle on it. The upshot is that the government of brutal tyrant Bashar al-Assad is battling against the Free Syrian Army as well as against explicitly Islamist groups, including Islamic Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)—the same broad organization now terrorizing Iraqis.
A problem for al-Assad, as well as for the West, is that, to the degree al-Assad’s regime weakens the Free Syrian Army, it strengthens Islamist rebels. The Wall Street Journal makes this point in an article by Maria Abi-Habib. The regime is currently attacking rebel forces in Aleppo. “The fall of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and economic hub before the fighting, could also bolster the ranks of Islamic State militants who continue to make gains across the country, as defeated members of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army switch to their side,” Abi-Habib writes.
And what we know about Islamic State (ISIS) is that its members are brutal, murderous totalitarian Muslims who explicitly want to destroy America and create a global Islamic state. So how is this all going to end?