ISIS a sister franchise or a tyrant successor to Al Qaeda
The so called Islamic state in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or ISIL as it is occasionally referred to is dangerously emerging as a merciless terrorist group posing threats both to the Middle East and beyond. Unlike, its contemporary the Al Qaeda, ISIL is holding a considerable territory in both Iraq and neighboring Syria, additionally, stocking billions of dollars in assets that make them able to easily recruit young soldiers for their devastating cause. This group if ignored by the neighboring Arab states as well as the west could jeopardize the already fragile security situation in the region.
Iraq, for instance, had already been fallen if the U.S. airstrikes on ISIS targets had not been initiated. Fortunately, there is a unanimous consensus among the resident regional powers including Iran to dismantle this group and create a unified front in collaboration with the other stakeholders to prevent this group from further advances and territorial gains. Syria on the other hand, is risking its shaky sovereignty in giving up considerable territory to ISIL. The U.S. which monitors the situation very closely is yet to start a bombing campaign on ISIS’s strongholds across the border in Syria. The Obama administration is weighing the possibility of working with the Assad regime to diminish any probable threats to the American interests in the gulf region. Luckily, the ISIS is in an ideological war with the mainstream Muslims around the world, their way of public executions of innocent non-Muslims and implementation of the sharia law is already in total odd with the Islamic teachings, no Muslim state has officially endorsed their so called caliphate leaving them with a moral support of a few tiny extremist groups who are already sidelined and isolated.
Currently, the alarming danger is the increasing number of foreign born citizens joining this militant group. Based on a recent report by the U.S. department of state over a 100 Americans have already joined the group posing a bigger national security concern if returned back with ill intentions, this number is far more staggering when it comes to British and European citizens joining the group. The Saudis who initially were indifferent about the motive of the group and were speculating it as a pro wahabi Sunni movement which could be utilized as a buffer against the Iranian influence in the gulf region have come to the terms with the rest of the world that a growing Islamic state advances could eventually threat the very existence of the kingdom. In fact, recently the Saudis finished fencing their isle territory along the Iraqi border to prevent ISIL’s penetration into Saudi.
Iran on the other hand, understands that any possible threat to its national security by ISIS can only be confronted with a strong regional ally that is in the same boat as the Iranians. Just recently the Iranian supreme leader has ordered his revolutionary guards to weigh the probabilities of cooperating with NATO, U.S. and neighboring Iraqi government to form a unified front and be proactive for any response to ISIL’s aggression. As president Obama nicely put today that the problem is not Iran but the Sunni fundamentalists and if not confronted sooner, it will pose a greater threat to the dominant Sunni Gulf states in the region itself.
Unfortunately, the Islamic state which has a comparative advantage in terms of cash and territorial dominance has so far been able to attract young for their cause and rapidly emerge as the most notorious extremist organization in the region. Obviously the beheading of the two American journalists and massacre of the Yazdis in Iraq has played a big role in propaganda war against the west. This threat has to be looked upon beyond sectarian ideology, terrorism does not acknowledge any particular sect or religion rather it acts a bad vessel equally targeting everyone.
Author: Naser Koshan
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