Russian President Vladimir Putin is "spitting" in President Barack Obama's face with Wednesday's launching of airstrikes against Syrian rebel forces instead of Islamic State terrorists, retired Army Gen. Paul Vallely told Newsmax TV.
"If you're at the blackjack table or poker table, he's the card dealer," Vallely, chairman of Stand Up America, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" in an interview. "He's controlling the game right now, and we basically have a finger in the game at best.
"It's absolutely embarrassing for this country as well as the European leaders," he said.
Vallely likened the strikes to Putin's actions in the Ukraine.
"It shouldn't be a surprise. They've been moving in through the ports of Latakia and Tardis on the Mediterranean there.
"They've been moving equipment and forces — and Putin, you know, it's almost like the Ukraine, isn't it, when you think about it?
"Putin's doing his thing," he added. "But here's the bottom line, though: They're not going after ISIS. They're going after the Free Syrian Army.
"They're attacking the opposition forces to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, whom Russia is supporting — and the tyrannical person who has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people."
And how will the U.S. respond?
"We're not going to do anything because we're, basically — we're neutered," Vallely told Malzberg. "We have no credibility, respect over there.
"They're pushing us out completely of anything that we're doing in that area, and they're going to expand to make sure that the Free Syrian Army and any opposing elements to Assad are going to be eliminated," he added. "This changes the whole ball game over there."
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