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But now to the bloody battle to overtake Syria.
And the complicated situation over there just got a little more complicated when it comes to the question.
Who were the opposition forces fighting to topple the Syrian leader -- or -- Today one of the rebel groups officially joined up with a branch of al-Qaeda.
According to an audiotape posted -- -- -- an audio.
Recording the group pledged its support tough Ayman -- -- hurry that's the terror group's current leader who's called for the killing of Americans worldwide.
Of course analysts have long warned that ousting the Syrian regime could give rise to Islamic extremists in the region.
But today's announcement and frankly confirms those fears and could complicate the efforts of the United States and the rest of the west to help the rebels in their fight.
Let's bring in Michael O'Hanlon a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution is live with us there this afternoon Michael your sense for how big a deal this this.
I -- well it's certainly not good news although it's also not a huge surprise this particular part of the Syrian insurgency was known to be.
One of these extreme she hottest kind of groups.
With a lot of commitment to martyrdom and suicide bombs and all the rest that we've gotten accustomed to over the last decade.
And so I think the real hard question is not whether this affiliation is all that.
A meaningful are of course significant but whether time really is flying to our advantage or not what will this group gets stronger.
Among the various Syrian insurgent groups with time.
If we stay out or will -- get stronger.
Or or weaker if we get involved you know in other words how much can we shape the relative role of this group in the opposition we obviously want to minimize it.
To me that makes the case for the United States getting more assertive earlier but one can debate that that's that's that's the central question.
More assertive earlier -- by many judgments we might be well past early already two years into this thing I just wonder specifically do you have thoughts on.
What it is that we might do how Ford as -- -- Yeah well I think what -- What we need to do is -- Clock and motion where you start to -- weaponry to those insurgent groups that you can vouch for you try to put fail safe mechanisms on those weapons so they can't be used.
Over a long period of time.
-- I don't wanna give your best anti aircraft weapons to the insurgents out of fear that some of these al-Qaeda affiliates could get a few.
But you can still get things like rocket propelled grenades and better armor better communications here most of that we're not doing with the exception of the non lethal stuff so far.
And I think it's time to actually start consultation process among NATO inherently countries about if and when we should go to an air strike option.
To help the insurgents defeat the regime I don't want to do that.
But if we don't set a clear marker that we will do that if necessary.
This thing can keep dragging on because aside and the Russians and others can keep telling themselves that time could be their friend.
Rather than their enemy and and I don't think we want them to be encouraged in that opinion.
Where is the Arab League on this.
The Arab League is pretty strongly in favor of the insurgents -- you do get into some complicated.
Sectarian issues the Arab League as you know is primarily Sunni states the insurgency is primarily Sunni the Asad regime is primarily -- -- light.
Non Sunni -- Shia derivative.
And so that's that's much of the logic for why the Arab states don't really tend -- like -- -- But also -- -- skilling.
Tens of thousands of their fellow Arabs and that becomes at some point as you point out this is now two years and that's a pretty compelling argument for a greater and greater number of them I think.
You know they're already giving more arms than we are a number of the Arab League states and I think -- be prepared to talk about.
An air campaign has some kind if we at least began that conversation pretty soon -- feel like something's gotta give Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institution thanks again Mike.
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