Syrian Kurdish refugees

On Tuesday President Obama applauded the U.S.-led airstrikes against the group known as the Islamic State, as the aerial attacks expanded from Iraq into Syria. The U.S. also was aiming for another militant group known as Khorasan, which officials say was plotting attacks against Americans. What is Khorasan? And what will the attacks mean for U.S. foreign policy in the region?

Airstrikes Begin on ISIS; Refugees Flee 24 September,2014forum

Steven Simon, senior fellow at the The Middle East Institute, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C. He is also a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College and is the co-author of "The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam's War Against America."
Fred Lawson, professor of government and the government department head at Mills College. He is author of "Global Security Watch: Syria."
Erika Solomon, Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times
Jeffrey White, defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy

  • ES Trader

    Will the bombings only create another off-shoot of ISIS or Al Qaeda that adapted and evolved like a virus ?

    Have we learned nothing from other viral contagions?

  • Sean Dennehy

    It’s my opinion that we should be working with Iran and Syria in our fight against ISIS rather than just giving them the cold shoulder.

    • Chris OConnell

      This makes perfect sense. But I can only surmise that in light of Iran and Syria’s very hostile posture towards Israel, and vice versa, we are not allowed.

  • Cal M

    So is the Khorasan Group this new war’s equivalent of “Weapons of Mass Destruction”? Call me a cynic (& a skeptic) but it seems all too convenient that
    this new “threat” suddenly bubbled up yesterday just as we started
    bombing. One has to wonder if it’s simply the cover story to sell us on the “necessity” of breaking more pottery in the Middle East.

    • Sean Dennehy

      It didn’t bubble up yesterday, it’s the US government’s name for Al-Nusra. Any cursory reading of the news for the past two years would have shown you they are an actual group.

  • Chemist150

    The whole situation is ridiculous. The US complacently sold weapons to Turkey knowing full well they were arming the rebels in Syria. Now they broke off to form ISIL with the US weapons in hand.

    This reminds me of why we’re stripped searched by x-ray at the airports now… Because the US armed the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan to drive out the soviets despite the military pact between the Afghan government and the Soviets. How many freedoms did the US citizens loose because the US didn’t want the Soviets to mine copper and gold and armed the groups that later became those that pulled off 9-11 and now are involved with Syrian rebels.

    Our leaders are collectively insane and never learn. They keep repeating the same mistakes and the citizens are the ones who will ultimately pay.

    • Kenji Yamada

      I’m with you as far as our government’s sponsorship of militants often having disastrous consequences, but how do you figure that those who pulled off 9-11 were armed by the US in the Afghan-Soviet war? I thought the 9-11 hijackers were Saudis, not Afghans. The strongest 9-11 connection you could draw to the Afghan mujahedin that the US armed against the Soviets is that some of them were involved with the Afghan Taliban, which later harbored Osama bin Laden who was part of the management for the 9-11 attack. Or am I missing something?

  • Sean Dennehy

    CNN has just broke the news that an IS affiliated group in Algeria has beheaded a french national. What effects will this have on the conversation?

  • Sam Badger

    What about the fact that it is the leftwing (and anti-Turkish) PKK/PYD have been, to some extent, on the vanguard of fighting IS? Is the fight against ISIS empowering that movement, and will Western powers arm them?

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