To be fair, the whole point of arming these lunatics (and simultaneously turning a blind eye to the fact that they were lunatics) in the first place was to help remove an Iran-friendly regime in Damascus. This is at least in part due to Saudi pressure - the Sunni autocracy in Saudi is completely paranoid about perceived Shia expansionism (Iran being a Shia-dominated country). This is despite the fact that the Shia constitute a numerical majority in something like four out of 57 Islamic countries. But while both the Saudi despots and IS are predominantly Sunni - and the former has funded the latter in lavish style - IS has little love for any of the Gulf monarchies.
Anyway, here's the latest from Patrick Cockburn (who suggests the US may not be telling the whole truth about its stance on Assad).
The new Iraqi government under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi remains sectarian, with even more members of the ruling Shia Dawa party than before. The Kurds were press-ganged by the US into joining it though none of their outstanding demands has been satisfied.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 27847.html
In Syria, the US is to bolster the “moderate” Syrian rebels who are to be trained in Saudi Arabia. The Syrian military opposition on the ground is dominated by jihadis, of which Isis, with control of 35 per cent of the country, is the most powerful.
The US air power should be enough to prevent Isis capturing the Kurdish capital Irbil or launching a successful assault on Baghdad. It might also be employed to save Aleppo or Hama from Isis. But without American forward air observers embedded in Iraqi units, as happened in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraqi Kurdistan in 2003, the Iraqi army is unlikely to make real progress on the ground. Given that the Sunni community is likely to fight the Shia-dominated army to the last man or flee in front of it, this may be no bad thing.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.