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Syrian opposition responds to President Obama's strategy to defeat Islamic State

Syrian Opposition Coalition Special Representative to the U.S. Najib Ghadbian expressed support for U.S. President Barack Obama's newly unveiled four-part strategy to "degrade, and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State.

By JC Finley
Syrian opposition responds to President Obama's strategy to defeat Islamic State
Syrian Opposition Coalition President Hadi Al-Bahra, seen here in July 2014 visiting a Turkish hospital that has been treating sick and wounded Syrians, welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's plan for defeating the Islamic State. (Facebook/Hadi Al Bahra)

DAMASCUS, Syria, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- The Syrian opposition welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's plan for defeating the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

On Wednesday evening, Obama unveiled a four-part strategy to "degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL."

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Syrian Opposition Coalition Special Representative to the U.S. Najib Ghadbian expressed support for Obama's plan, particularly with regard to fighting IS in Syria, and welcomed America's commitment to providing additional assistance to the moderate Syrian opposition and its Free Syrian Army.

"We are those partners on the ground who are fighting extremism on the front line in Syria, to which President Obama referred."

The moderate opposition's military wing, the Free Syrian Army, has been battling the IS militants for more than a year "and will continue do so," Ghadbian asserted.

IS was able to gain a foothold in Syria, Ghadbian explained, because of "The brutal rule and corrupt governance of the [Bashar al-]Assad regime... as the regime generated the conditions for ISIS to become the global threat that it is today."

Last month, Obama similarly remarked that the three-year-old civil war in Syria "has obviously given ISIL a safe haven there in ungoverned spaces."

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"To defeat ISIS we need a comprehensive effort that tackles both ISIS and the Assad regime as its root cause," Ghadbian stated.

"This requires airstrikes backed up by proper training and equipping of moderate Syrian forces so that they can win the fight on the ground against ISIS and defend civilians from the Assad regime. The long-term solution will only be reached by achieving a transition from this dictatorship to democratic and inclusive governance that will stave off extremism and prevent its resurgence over the long term."

Syrian Opposition Coalition President Hadi Al-Bahra said via Facebook that the opposition "stands ready and willing to partner with the international community not only to defeat ISIS but also oust the Assad regime and put in its place the moderate governance that will stave off extremism and prevent its resurgence over the long term."

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