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(Photo credit: The Atlantic)

It is becoming clearer by the day that the U.S. is facing a strategic catastrophe in Syria. Should Bashar Assad prevail, he will be infinitely indebted to Iran and Hezbollah, and the “Shiite Crescent” will remain unbroken. Islamists have become the dominant rebel force due to the Obama administration’s decision to let “allies” like Qatar and Turkey take the lead. Non-Islamist rebels are losing faith in America, 2 million Syrian Christians are in peril and the conflict is spreading into Lebanon and Turkey. The disaster of today is likely a foreshadowing of the greater disaster of tomorrow.

Over 33,000 have lost their lives in the conflict, mostly civilians. This is just a fraction of the number of people who have been wounded or imprisoned, many being tortured while in captivity. About 1.5 million are now homeless and 300,000 have fled to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. These numbers are especially breathtaking when you consider the fact that Syria only has a population of about 21 million.

The U.S. is “leading from behind” by letting Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia handle relations with the Syrian opposition. As these governments are Islamist, it should come as no surprise that they favor the Islamist rebels. Qatar is especially supportive of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, much like it supported the Libyan Islamists. The result of this outsourcing of U.S. influence is that the majority of arms shipped to the rebels are ending up in the hands of jihadists.

Read more here.