Firing of missile from US Navy surface ship
According to investigative reporter Robert Parry, in secret behind the scenes negotiations the US and Syria's President Bashar Assad  have agreed-with Russian intelligence acting as an intermediary-to permit US airstrikes into Syria against the Islamist State-the extremist Sunni militant group that has seized vast areas in northwestern Iraq, including Mosul, Iraq's 2 nd largest city along with vast areas in eastern Syria essentially obliterating the border of the two countries and declaring itself a "Caliphate".
Yesterday, US fighter planes, bombers and shipboard missiles were launched against Islamic State "targets" officially expanding the war into Syria-all but confirming Parry's reporting. As per usual, US corporate media was mum on the subject of the secret Syria-US accord, particularly with demonized Putin and Russia being the necessary go between. Then again, with Assad stating publically any US air assault in Syria would be unacceptable and violating Syrian sovereignty, it all had to be done in secret.
Yet what is one to make of this latest direct US military entanglement in Syria's sectarian civil war? It will certainly be seen as Americans killing Muslims whether it's now radical Sunni Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq but also something opposed by militant Shiites in Iraq who rightly see the Islamic State as a creation of the US.
Official US policy has called for the "removal of Assad" aka "regime change" promoted by neo-cons inside the Obama administration as well as assorted pundits habituating the think tanks dotted around the Beltway and seen bloviating on the talk shows. However with this secret US-Syria accord the neo-con "regime change" ploy will have to be put on hold.
Then there's the $500 hundred million just approved by Congress to supply arms to Syrian Sunni rebels opposed to Assad-supposedly "vetted" as non-aligned with the Islamic State or the al Qaeda al Nusra front militant groups-listed as terrorists by the US-yet these "friendly" Syrian Sunni rebels have recently agreed to a non-aggression pact with the Islamist State-something the myopic Congress was unaware of or they knew but kept secret from their constituents who have been appalled at the beheadings committed by the Islamist State radicals and thus agree with US actions against them.
But as has happened in the recent past these newly authorized US arms-intended for the Syrian Sunni "friendly's"-will likely wind up in the hands of the more powerful Islamic State militants; that's what happened this Summer when the Iraqi army abandoned their US supplied arms, tanks, artillery, shoulder fired missiles, RPG's et al, cut and run refusing to fight in the face of the Islamic State radicals assault in the vast Sunni areas of Iraq.
Also lately, the autonomous Kurdish region in northeastern Iraq has seen thousands of Sunni Arab refugees abandoning their homes in areas taken over by Islamic State rebels and making their way attempting to enter Iraqi Kurdistan-and sometimes refused entry.
There's also been sporadic fighting between the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Islamic State militants just miles from Kirkuk which the Kurds recently took over and made it part of their territory.
And now into this sectarian cauldron steps the US military back in Iraq and now Syria with its aerial bombardment with Obama reiterating there's to be no American troops on the ground.
But the question begs; why and what are we doing?
Of course there's the political equation what with neo-con Senators McCain and Graham beating the drum calling for ever greater arms to the "rebels" along with singing the neo-con theme song of "regime change" and "Assad must go".
But really, if one steps back and makes a critical assessment of US engagement in all conflicts, the intent seems to create chaos in the world that justifies the military expenditures while promoting the necessity of the national security surveillance state to "defend" the American people who have been made fearful by US and media propaganda against Islamic terrorists which WE created.
That's right, the terrorists WE created; from the arms we supplied to Osama bin Laden and his Mujahedeen fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980's to the CIA training and supplying ISIS-now the Islamic State-in Jordan to fight against Assad in Syria it is the nefarious US regime that has brought havoc to the Muslim world and all "Made in the USA".