The United States has been under intense pressure from Israel to launch an “Iraq-style” war in Syria, an escalation that has prompted the refugee crisis in the war-torn country, says a former CIA and NSA contractor.
Steven Kelly made the remarks as the Obama administration is under fire over its slow response to the flood of people fleeing violence in Syria.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, criticized President Barack Obama’s policy in Syria as an “epic disaster,” saying it could “work against our national security interests.”
Discussing the escalating refugee crisis, Sen. Murphy argued Sunday that the United States should take in 50,000 refugees, far more than the 10,000 the Obama administration has agreed to accommodate next year.
Kelly said while Murphy’s stance is “refreshing,” the Connecticut senator should “recognize that the refugees are the result of the bombing” in Syria.
“Obama right now seems to be panicking,” he said. “It would appear that Israel is certainly putting a lot of pressure on Obama to send in actual ground troops and launch an Iraq-style campaign on Syria.”
Since late September 2014, the US and its allies have been conducting airstrikes in Syria purportedly to target Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri terrorists, who have seized parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq.
The air campaign was launched without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
According to the United Nations, more than 230,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over four years.
Kelly said as President Bashar al-Assad continues to consolidate his power, “it puts more pressure on Israel to do something and it puts more pressure on the United States to satisfy them.”