Iran and its Shiite allies are crucial opponents of ISIS:
Any campaign to undermine Iranian power automatically benefits ISIS. Some of the most tenacious and effective military opponents of that radical insurgency have been forces backed by Tehran. Those include Shiite militias in Iraq, Assad with his Syrian Alawite base and Hezbollah in Lebanon. That is not surprising. ISIS is first and foremost an extremist Sunni movement that generates most of its strength from predominantly Sunni regions in Iraq and Syria. Although ISIS fighters hate the Western powers, especially after the United States and its allies launched airstrikes against their caliphate, they harbor an even greater hatred for all Shiites, whom Sunni militants regard as evil heretics. An important component of the volatile conflicts in so many portions of the Middle East is a blood feud between Sunnis and Shiites. Hence, Iran and its allies are enemies of ISIS that are unlikely to relent. Instead of spurning their contribution, the West should recognize it as an important tactical benefit.
The major Sunni powers are unreliable allies against ISIS:
The uncomfortable reality is that such countries as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey helped create the ISIS threat. Early on, wealthy contributors from the Gulf countries funded the factions that coalesced to become ISIS. Even when the horrifying nature of that movement became evident, the leading Sunni powers displayed ambivalence, at best, about opposing the insurgency. Ankara still seems more concerned about undermining burgeoning Kurdish power in northern Syria than with weakening ISIS. And Riyadh and its Gulf allies have been pulling back, rather than increasing, their belated military opposition to that movement. Once again, there appears to be an element of Sunni solidarity that has crept into their calculations. Although the United States and the other Western powers may experience some success in pressuring key Sunni countries to confront ISIS, those countries will never be more than reluctant partners in such an enterprise.