Tonight on Special Report, Syria expert Elizabeth O’Bagy from the Institute for the Study of War gave her analysis on how the United States should respond to mounting evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons. Secretary of State John Kerry said today that evidence of a chemical attack on civilians is “real and compelling.”


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O’Bagy, who returned from Syria a few days ago, said President Bashar al-Assad’s government is not winning against rebel forces. She said one reason the U.S. hasn’t gotten involved is because it’s hard to identify who the rebels are since there are several different groups. Moreover, she said some of the extremist groups have little of the same values that are in line with U.S. interests for a democratic government.

The “fully functional” moderate opposition operates out of southern Syria, O’Bagy said. Within the U.S.-backed partners, there is a military council. That council includes the largest rebel alliance called the Syrian Liberation Front. It provides most of the field commanders that the U.S. is now working with and promised to back with both legal and some military assistance.

O’Bagy noted that the Syrian Liberation Front incorporates the majority of rebel groups in each of the five fronts across Syria, unlike the extremist groups which are much smaller in numbers. 

Listen to the rest of O'Bagy's expert analysis in the clip above.


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