The issue is not ISIS but regional allies, and influence. Although not opposed to the destruction of the Islamic State, Russia fears the ultimate target of American intervention is the Syrian military and the Assad regime itself, a traditional ally of Russia. Israel, a U.S. ally, shot down a Syrian fighter jet for the first time in 3 decades. Turkey is not a part of the lauded coalition providing support for the airstrikes, denying the use of its bases for military intervention. And Egypt suggests targets should not be confined to Iraq and Syria implying a desire for an escalation of the offensive to include militants (read Muslim Brotherhood, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis) in Egypt and neighboring Libya. The U.S. led operation in Libya to oust Gadhafi was also denounced by Moscow, while describing the U.S. as adopting missile-bomb democracy. Saudi Arabia has pledged to allow the training of Syrian rebel forces opposed to the Islamic State at bases in its territory, but as of 14 September, no country in the region had offered concrete military support. However, as of 22 September, two U.S. defense officials identified participating partner nations as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. One official described them as “full participants” in the airstrikes in Syria but did not give further details, saying it was up to those countries to fully disclose their roles. I have a feeling Qatar did not participate directly although the use of a U.S. airbase there and Qatari airspace is considered support for the operation.
From David Blair, The Telegraph article US launches air strikes against Isil in Syria:
“Five Arab countries are supporting the US air campaign against Isil targets in Syria, according to the Pentagon. But only Jordan has confirmed that its aircraft have actually carried out air strikes. All of the others have kept silent, raising doubts over whether they are flying bombing missions, or confining their role to offering bases and opening their airspace.”
From The Telegraph article US launches air strikes against Isil in Syria:
“But Jordan’s participation comes as little surprise. Of the five Arab states named by the Pentagon as supporting the offensive, only Jordan is directly threatened by Isil fighters. The terrorist movement has captured the area of Iraq along Jordan’s eastern frontier. Hence King Abdullah can argue that Jordan’s participation is essential for national security.”
But why would the regional powers back the offensive if they were not ultimately in support of it? Because the development of ISIS can be linked to a proxy war by the Arab States against Iran and the Shi’ite majorities in the north in an attempt to destabilize the region and prevent the evolution of a Shi’ite Crescent power base. It is MY OPINION that these countries have provided the U.S. with the illusion of a multilateral campaign with little buy-in. It is also MY OPINION that this conflict will ultimately lead to a restructuring of the Middle East with boundaries drawn along demographic and ethnic lines versus the current artificial borders set up according to the Versailles Treaty, Sykes-Picot (which Russia had little to no impact on) agreement and subsequent conflicts in the region.