A number of State Department officials have reportedly broken with current Obama administration policy in Syria. Current policy, they believe, focuses more on defeating ISIS than on helping anti-Assad forces. The Wall Street Journal reports that the dissent channel cable claims: "Failure to stem Assad's flagrant abuses will only bolster the ideological appeal of groups such as Daesh, even as they endure tactical setbacks on the battlefield."
Daesh stands for al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham. Use of Daesh to describe ISIS, or ISIL, is considered demeaning by the ISIL leadership. In the New Republic, writer Jen Percy calls Daesh a "pejorative term for ISIS" in Arabic. AP reports that ISIS leaders threatened a year ago to "cut the tongue of anyone who publicly used the acronym Daesh." That group would now include many high-ranking State Department officials and Secretary of State John Kerry, who said last year that "Syria’s future is not a choice between Assad and extremists like Daesh."
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