US Blames Syria for Rise of Al-Qaeda-Inspired Group

Sometimes, in an effort to prevent something from happening, one can inadvertently enable the worst nightmare to come true. That’s essentially what the United States is saying happened in Syria, where they are accusing the Syrian regime of creating the “climate” that enabled the Al-Qaeda-inspired ISIL group to “flourish.” ISIL is now fighting not only in Syria, but making headway in Iraq as well.

The Syrian civil war started as a battle between the regime and its civilians, but has since turned into a violent melting pot where groups like ISIL, moderate rebels, and the regime are all fighting each other. The US on Wednesday said the Syrian regime’s brutal crackdown on their own people in the early stages of the conflict set the stage for ISIL’s rise.

“They’ve created a huge security vacuum,” spokesperson Marie Harf said of Syria’s regime in a State Department press release. “They’ve instigated a civil war in their own country, attacked their own people, led to a breakdown in security where groups… like ISIL have been able to flourish.”

Now Iraq is paying the price for the Syrian civil war. Harf said that the Syrian regime’s actions has created the “climate that has led to ISIL to flourish and indeed to cross over from Syria into Iraq.”

The Syrian civil war did not start out as a fight. Opposition to the Syrian regime started primarily as nonviolent protests, to which the regime responded by killing and torturing some of the protestors. Eventually, the opposition became militarized, leading to the war that has claimed over 100,000 lives and is now spilling into Iraq and Lebanon.

The US warned, before ISIL started taking over portions of Iraq, that the Syrian civil war was effectively a training ground for terror groups. They have even warned that those groups could eventually turn to attack the West.

For now, ISIL has turned southeast, from Syria to Iraq. One can only wonder where they will go next.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 26, 2014)

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