NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 30 (RIA Novosti) – US-led airstrikes in Syria could make the country's civil war worse and leave it in a state of seemingly perpetual, Libya-style chaos, anti-war campaigner Dan Smith told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
"ISIS is appalling and so is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but the argument against bombing either can be summarized in a single word – Libya. Overthrowing the tyrant caused a power vacuum that is now being fought over by 1,700 armed militias," said Smith, secretary general of London-based charity International Alert.
"Finding the road out of the hell that is Syria today will take time, patience and talking with organizations and individuals that many people find despicable. Bombs and missile strikes will do no good and may do a great deal of harm."
A US-led coalition of some 60 countries has launched airstrikes on Islamic State (IS), which is also known as ISIS and ISIL, a sectarian Sunni Muslim militia of more than 30,000 fighters that controls swathes of Sunni-majority areas on either side of the Iraq-Syria border.
US President Barack Obama says IS can be defeated through US-led airstrikes and by arming and equipping Kurds, Iraqis and moderate elements of Syria's opposition as ground forces. Critics say he lacks reliable allies, is over-reliant on air-power and has no strategy for ending Syria's civil war.