The US government’s plan to launch airstrikes against ISIL in Syria would be “an act of war,” says a former counterterrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA.
“We are not at war with Syria and yet we are attacking Syrian territory,” said Philip Giraldi, who is also a columnist, television commentator and executive director of the Council for the National Interest.
During a speech on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama said he authorized airstrikes against ISIL bases in Syria. The US military has already conducted more than 150 airstrikes against the militant group in neighboring Iraq.
“I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq,” Obama announced.
“The United States is not at war with Syria [and] to attack Syrian territory as they’re planning on doing is an act of war and in fact to do it in this fashion is a war crime,” Giraldi told Press TV on Saturday.
On Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that the US is at war with ISIL, rejecting Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks about the US-led campaign against the terror network.
He made the comments one day after Kerry said that the US strategy to fight ISIL included “many different things that one doesn’t think of normally in context of war.”
Many militants who were trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to fight the Syrian government later joined ISIL. The militant group now controls large parts of Syria’s northern territory and sent its fighters into neighboring Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries.
James Petras, emeritus professor of sociology at Binghamton University in New York, told Press TV on Thursday that the Obama administration’s plan for airstrikes on ISIL hideouts in Syria is a “new move” to “directly intervene militarily not only against ISIL but particularly against the national government in Syria.”