It looks as if western governments have supported many rebels who in reality are murderous terrorists.
Read -Syria, a forgotten uprising or not
In 2013 it looked as if the USA and UK were about to launch airstrikes in Syria, to help the rebels defeat Assad, but public opinion was against the politicians and in the UK Labour leader Ed Miliband scuppered the vote.
So it is easy to see why Philip Hammond is not in favour of the UK working with Assad to oust IS but it does show that the mission in Syria has always been muddied. Speaking to BBC's World at One Hammond said:
In an interview on the BBC's World at One, he said the idea, floated by one of his Conservative predecessors as foreign secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, had no attraction to the government at all.
If western leaders are happy for militants to run riot in Syria, kill brutally and more, then it has never been about helping the people of Syria but rather ousting Assad. That in turn could be about cutting off support for Iran, oil, wealth and protecting Israel.
Western governments should be happy to see the back of IS no matter where; it should not matter who rids the world of this group of terrorists but it does. The people of Syria are not part of the equation.
Read - James Foley, the ultimate sacrifice
It would certainly be both ironic and hypocritical if the west helped Assad by destroying IS and making his life a little easier but that appears normal these days.
Dannatt believes it is inevitable that the UK will join the US in bombing parts of Iraq. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the Conservative former foreign secretary and chairman of the intelligence and security committee, said it was sometimes necessary to work with "extremely nasty" people in order to defeat enemies who were even worse.
At least that is an honest assessment confirming what most Britons suspected - that we often play dirty and switch allegiance.
The west has certainly helped create hell on earth in much of the Middle East. Has it acted as a well-meaning fool or was that the plan all the time?