The Islamic State Is A Product Of American Intervention
U.S. President Barack Obama presented his plan to counter ISIS terrorist group on Sept, 10. The plan consists of four major points: a systematic campaign of airstrikes against ISIL, increased support to forces fighting ISIL on the ground, drawing on counterterrorism capabilities to prevent terrorist attacks and providing humanitarian assistance. The U.S. efforts gained support of a number of European countries such as Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany.
Semen Bagdasarov, the expert in the Central Asia and the Middle East commented to Russian Peacekeeper, why the West was forced into a confrontation with the Islamic State and whether this operation could be successful.
What is the purpose of the West in fighting IS in Syria and Iraq?
- I would like to remind that the IS is nothing more than a product of American intervention in Syria and Iraq. But for the American intervention in these countries, this terrorist organization would not have emerged. The Islamic State combines extremely aggressive ideology and well-trained militants, who got sophisticated training during the Syrian conflict where they have obtained weapons and other military materiel. Until recent time the the IS have been mainly financed by Qatar, which is now under total control of the U.S. and Great Britain. Now the islamists are no longer controlled by Qatar and their Western sponsors. The situation is like this: during the conflict in Syria the IS militants mastered their skills of waging war, basically, in preparation to invade Iraq.
The first priority of Americans is to restore the control over the oil producing region of Iraq - Iraqi Kurdistan, which is estimated to have the sixth largest oir reserves volume in the world.
Washington clearly realizes that Moscow is also interested in stabilizing the situation in the region. Why the U.S. didn?t invite Russia to join the anti-terrorist coalition?
This is a demonstrative gesture: "We don't need you", "We will sort everything out without you". That's the way these actions could be interpreted. It is obvious that Russia would insist that all U.S. reconnaissance flights should be authorized by the Syrian government. However, Obama announced the possibility of air strikes across the Syrian territory without appropriate permission. That?s why they decided to go on without Russia.
Why does the West give greater support to militia of Iraqi Kurdistan than to Iraqi Armed Forces?
The Iraqi Kurds are better-trained soldiers; they are able to withstand the IS. Besides, during American military presence in Iraq the U.S. sold the Kurdish militants weapons worth 43 billion dollars, which means that the Kurds are well-equipped now. Let me remind that a majority of 400,000 Iraqi soldiers scattered during the first days of IS intervention in the country.
Should Russia take part in the operation and what is the best way of doing it?
I think it is worth engaging the Islamic State, because it carries a serious security threat. However, there is no need to impose ourselves to the coalition. Russia should create its own coalition to counter that terrorist organization. There is no secret that up to three thousand Russian compatriots and former Soviet Union republics' citizens are members of IS. When they return from the region, we will face a serious terroristic threat.
Besides, we are focused on stabilizing the situation in the Middle East. That's why, firstly, we have to offer humanitarian and military support to the most powerful opponent of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, i. e. to the Kurds, who are the residents of both states. It is worth noting that the Kurds are interested in the Russian arms more than in the Western, because they are being used to it. Secondly, we have to make NATO exclude the Kurd Labour Party, acting in Turkey, from the list of terrorist organizations. That step will lift all the restrictions put on the Kurds recently in their struggle against the IS militants.
Could the western antiterrorist coalition succeed in fighting the IS without Russia's participation?
I agree here with the statement of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Martin Dempsey, in which he emphasized that the war would be long, hard and would carry far-reaching consequences. I should say that if in the nearest future Khalifa Ibrahim, also known as Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi isn?t killed and the entire IS Military Shura isn?t destroyed, the war will protract for years, and conflict will probably spread over the region. Obviously Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel will fall under the threat.