|Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. International Policy Digest. License: CC BY-SA|
A more comprehensive strategy would involve dealing with Russia's support of the current Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. Since Russia supports Assad, there is difficulty in creating a UN sponsored coalition to remove him. The United States needs to broker an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin to remove Assad, but with the recent Ukrainian crisis, it seems unlikely. Putin supports Assad because a Sunni Islamic takeover from the rebels would weaken Russian statehood - a lesson that Putin learned when Russia faced Sunni extremist Chechnyan rebels.
The Obama administration also needs to develop an exit plan if Assad is removed. The rebel forces that include the New Syrian Army are being supported by US named terrorist groups Nusra Front and the Khorasan Group, and this presents a problem to the US. The US in its air campaign is trying to eliminate these two terrorist groups, but these groups are fighting the Islamic State and the Assad regime. On the one hand, Nusra and Khorasan are helping to remove the Islamic State and Assad, but on the other, they are enemies of the US.
Whatever happens in Syrian needs to be followed up with a unified consensus of the countries bordering Syria in order to prevent another series of splinter groups taking power. Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Israel need to form an alliance to improve the stability of the region and curb any breakaway groups that cause more instability.