Tags Posts tagged with "Syria"

Syria

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The 12th century mosque, the Grand al-Nuri in Mosul, from where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself the ‘Caliph’ of the world’s Muslims was destroyed by IS as they retreated from the Iraqi troops. Shortly after that, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally announced the liberation of Mosul.

The Iraqi army with help from Iran-trained militias, the Kurdish Peshmerga and the U.S. Air Force liberated small cities first, such as Ramadi and Fallujah, before moving towards Mosul in October 2016.

Recently IS has faced many setbacks like:

  • Losing more than half of the territories it once held.
  • Finding it harder to recruit new jihadists under strain of battlefield losses.
  • Its leader Baghdadi being either dead or on the run.

But these setbacks do not mean that the IS has been defeated, because of many reasons:

  • It still controls various strategic territories in Iraq. Hawijah, Tal Afar, Salahuddin province and pockets in Anbar and Diyala. In Syria, it still controls Raqqa, and Deir Ezzor.
  • There’s no guarantee that the IS won’t come back to the cities it lost.

In Syria, the battle against the IS, is more complicated than that in Iraq. In Iraq at least there is a consensus of America, the Kurds and Iran and Shia militias about what the legitimate force is against the IS i.e. the Iraqi government. But in Syria, Raqqa is being attacked by SDF and the government troops both. Russia is backing the regime, while the U.S. is supporting the SDF. Turkey, another country that’s involved by its proxies in the war, is wary of the SDF. So even if Raqqa is liberated someday, it will be difficult to reach on a peaceful decision on who will eventually run the city.

IS which started as an insurgency, has transformed itself into a proto-state. Now the proto-state is under attack, but it can retreat to insurgency (uprising/revolt) for its continued survival.

It has changed its strategy very recently. Instead of expanding its territories now, it has become defensive and released a wave of terror attacks in various parts of the world.

IS has established franchises in other countries. Boko Haram, Africa’s most dreaded terror outfit, has declared loyalty to the IS. In eastern Afghanistan, the Islamic State of Khorasa is a branch of the IS, which is controlling the group’s operations in South Asia. In Philippines, armed jihadist groups have declared their loyalty to the IS and are fighting the government forces also.

 

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The Islamic State is on the backfoot in Iraq and Syria due to the coalition operations by Iraqi Army, Kurdistan forces  and Russian air raids in Syria along with US support,the jihadist group is trying to find a foothold in Egypt. 

The Egyptian President Abdel -Fattah Al Sisi announced his support for the Syrian, Libyan and Iraqi armies combating the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham”(ISIS). 

The Egyptian Army is on a mission to expel the remaining Islamic State terrorists  from the Sinai Peninisula. The Islamic State or ISIS was created when US withdrew troops from Iraq leaving a vacuum resulting in the merging of the fringe elements of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist Party as well as residual elements of different ethnic groups that supported Muammer Gaddafi in Libya all of whom continue to work in a loose coordination for the ISIS. 

But Egypt had been facing political turmoil since 2011 when anti-government protests against Hosni Mubarak broke out in 2011 and Mohamed Morsi who was in prison became president after his party Muslim Brotherhood won the election.As Morsi was facing charges of espionage  and initiating anti-government protests in 2011.As military chief, current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the public movement to overthrow Morsi in July 2013. The Egyptian government and other Muslim-majority countries declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. 

But the highest court in Egypt has quashed the life sentence imposed on the country’s former president, Mohamed Morsi. The deposed president remains in prison on a separate espionage conviction, despite the recent ruling by Egypt’s Court of Cassation. 

He is still serving a concurrent 40-year sentence on charges he spied for Qatar, the Persian Gulf nation that supported his administration and also serving a 20-year sentence for alleged involvement in anti-government clashes outside Egypt’s presidential palace in 2012. 

The Egyptian Army is now engaged in eliminating ISIS from Sinai Peninsula . There are reports that the leader named Wali has distributed the responsibilities pertaining to security, military affairs, bomb making and media . 

Shadi el-Menei is the media spokesperson of the group and a well known Bedouin militant . Menei was originally from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis outfit where after he shifted allegiance to the Islamic State in November 2014.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis outfit  got split from the Mujahidin Shura Council consisting of Jihadist Palestinian militants from the Gaza strip and the local Bedouin veterans that conducted attacks on Israel after Mubarak’s overthrow in 2011. 

Actually, The Western Powers consisting of US, Russia and European nations have merged to eliminate ISIS or ISIL jihadist group from the Middle East .

Article Courtesy : Arti Bali, Senior Journalist & Analyst