For Immediate Release


Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Why is Syria Burning?

WASHINGTON - NBC News is reporting: “Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that the U.S. will begin ‘direct action on the ground’ against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, aiming to intensify pressure on the militants as progress against them remains elusive.”

The Guardian reports today: “Iran says it will attend international talks over Syria’s future in Vienna this week.”

Common Dreams needs you today!

CHARLES GLASS, charlesglassarticles at
Glass was recently in Syria for the New York Review of Books and was on assignment in Iraq for Harper’s Magazine. His latest book is the just-released Syria Burning: ISIS and the Death of the Arab Spring. He was ABC News Chief Middle East correspondent and recently wrote the piece “In the Syrian Deadlands.”


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

He said today: “The problem is that the two main parties backing the factions in Syria — the United States and Russia — have not budged from their positions. Russia’s position is that Bashar al-Assad must remain as president, and the American position is that Bashar al-Assad must go as president. And they haven’t seemed to have reconciled these two points of view. …

“If you look at a map of the Arab world, there are about 22 members of the Arab League stretching from Mauritania all the way to the borders of Iran. Almost every one of those countries is an American client state. Only one is a Russian client state. That’s Syria. …

“On the surface, the United States is fighting against the Islamic State mainly because it went into Iraq. They didn’t seem to mind it when they were just in Syria. But they’re still allowing Turkey to keep its border open for men and supplies to come into the Islamic State. And they still — if they’re fighting the Islamic State, they’re still allowing the Saudis to provide the Islamic State and…other similar jihadist groups [like] al-Qaeda to receive weapons, including anti-tank weapons, from the Saudis. And this is fine with American policy and consistent with it, or they’ve simply lost control over the course of events.” See interview with Democracy Now! here and here.


Our pandemic coverage is free to all. As is all of our reporting.

No paywalls. No advertising. No corporate sponsors. Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, traffic to the Common Dreams website has gone through the roof— at times overwhelming and crashing our servers. Common Dreams is a news outlet for everyone and that’s why we have never made our readers pay for the news and never will. But if you can, please support our essential reporting today. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.

Share This Article