As for Washington's "strategy," there's no strategy; the foreign policy advisers of the self-described "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" Obama administration are a joke.
Pro-administration factions in the Beltway argue Washington cannot alienate Tehran by attacking Damascus, because the US needs Iranian support -- via an array of Shi'ite militias -- to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Iraq. And yet, in Syria, the US counts on those elusive "moderates" not only to fight the fake Caliphate but also to inflict harm on Damascus.
One can already start counting the multiple permutations of blowback out of this murky scenario. The Empire of Chaos excels in fomenting -- what else - chaos; as for the resulting destruction, it's up to the locals to bear the burden, while the Empire watches in the sidelines.
It's always important to remember sectarian tribal militias at loose in Iraq -- and then, years later, in Syria -- that was a direct consequence of the Made in USA "policy" of Divide and Rule, set in motion after the initial destruction of the Iraqi state.
The bottom line: chaos will continue to prevail. ISIS/ISIL/Daesh will keep advancing in Syria, immune to Pentagon firepower; but may be effectively counter-attacked in Iraq, thanks to Shi'ite militias, and not Pentagon firepower. This is what the State Department defines as a "winning strategy."
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