Washington and its allies are doing everything to make more enemies
Originally appeared at VPK, translated by Monna Lita exclusively for SouthFront
Regardless of resolutions made by the UN Security Council concerning the forbidden “Islamic State” in Russia and the formally announced war on the terrorist monster by Washington and its allies, the latter not only maintains control over significant amount of Syria’s an Iran’s territory, but also continues expansion into Libya, Yemen, and other countries of the Near and Middle East.
IS managed to establish a very close relationship with the “Taliban” in Pakistan and Afghanistan, “Boko Haram” and “Al Shabat” in Africa. Islamists continue demonstrative mass executions of prisoners and hostages, threaten with new terrorist acts globally and invade countries of Central Asia and Caucasus.
It is not only immigrants from Arabic and Muslim countries that are fighting in the ranks of IS, but also tens of thousands of U.S., E.U., S.N.G. (Common Wealth of Independent States) and Russian citizens. Unfortunately, a significant part of the Arabic-Sunni population that occupies Syrian and Iraqi territories have come under the influence of the radical Islamic theology and is supporting IS in a fight with central government of those countries. Islamists’ foreign sponsors used the growing contradiction between Sunnis and Shiites (Alawites) in Syria and Iraq and provoked clashes in Damascus and Baghdad.
Counteraction of IS from the western side of the coalition is minimal. According to Pentagon data, in the past year the International Coalition Air Force under the U.S. aegis destroyed nearly six thousand IS fighters with bomb and missile strikes and with Kurdish militia forces, setting free only a small percentage of occupied territories. During the same period, tens of thousands of volunteers and Mercenaries filled the ranks of IS. The threat remains that they will take over Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. It is acknowledged by most American war experts that the war with IS has acquired a chronic character and can last many years.
Interacting with Iran, Assad’s troops and Libyan “Hezbollah”, Russia brought a radical change into the situation when on October 2015 it began a large scale military operation against IS and other Islamists on Syrian territory. The Russian Air Force already destroyed hundreds of IS objects – warehouses full of weapons and ammunition, command posts, headquarters, other elements of military infrastructure, hundreds of terrorists are dead and injured. A realistic background for the liberation of occupied territories is created.
The Secret Behind a Thriving Islamic State
During the period of Iraq occupation by the U.S. and its allies (approximately in 2006) IS was being creating by radical Islamic Salafi-Wahhabi groups with the support of the Persian Gulf monarchies security services on the base of one of the cells of “Al-Qaida” in a so called Sunni Iraqi triangle. The goal of IS sponsors was to create a counterweight for the new Arabic-Shiite authorities in Iraq and prevention of a possible stabilization of Iran’s position in this country and in the region as a whole. Mostly done by terrorist methods, the IS was significantly strengthened by a military-political union of former Iraqi military and the Baghdad’s central government.
With the beginning of the Civil War in Syria, IS has expanded its activities in this country, and from the beginning it has done it with other Islamic unions like “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, and later it independently managed to control significant territory and important strategic objects (land borders, cities, oil fields, etc.). The IS ranks filled the smaller Syrian Islamic groups and even the Free Syrian army opposition’s subdivisions. Washington and its Western partners tried not to notice the growing potential of an IS army for a long time, counting on its active participation in overthrowing Assad’s regime.
In the summer of 2014, having taken advantage of the Iraqi Sunni provinces’ revolt, the IS forces marched through the north west of the country practically without fighting, took the second most important Iraqi city of Mosul, and established control over one third of the country’s territory. The regular units of the Iraqi Armed Forces who were prepped by American trainers were not able to show even some resistance to the forces and scattered in panic, leaving them an arsenal of the most modern heavy weaponry. In July 2014, on the occupied territories of Syria and Iraq, the IS had already announced the development of a new Sunni state, an Islamic Caliphate, with the head being an Iraqi named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
By taking sharia as a basis for a set of laws IS leaders immediately began forming new organs of power, force and other structures (educational, health, life supportive). The financial influence of Wahhabi funds from arms trade, oil, petroleum, museum artifacts, hostages, border extortions, bank robberies and other sources allowed Islamists to form an annual budget in several billion U.S. dollars and not only cover directs expenses, but also begin paying a salary and a pension to civilians.
In the beginning of 2015, this group turned into an advanced party of international terrorism and radical Islam’s impactful force, and its leader may well qualify for a role of a new Osama Bin Laden. Common sense tells us that in the fight with this evil the community needs to join forces, but reality is that today it again, just like on the brink of World War II, is politically and ideologically split. The U.S. announces that the main threat is not IS but Russia and the Ebola fever. Washington with its allies is fighting IS in accordance with a policy that has double standards. They divide terrorists into good and bad ones, beneficial and unwanted ones.
The Coalition’s Dual Game
The situation is Iraq is not easy. Repressive policies of American occupying forces and the puppet government of Nouri al-Maliki with respect to the Sunni Arabs that was pursued for several years and led to an uprising of the Sunni provinces and their support of the Islamic State. Heydar al_Abadi, who replaced Nouri al_Maliki, has not yet taken any measures to restore the trust of Sunni citizens. His pleas for help to Washington and Tehran only strengthened the Sunnis’ hate toward the central authorities. The Air Force’s missile strikes and bombings are causing minor damage to the living force of IS, but at the same time they are destroying the infrastructure and are causing casualties among the civilian population. The number of Baghdad’s opponents in Iraq is only multiplying.
Washington has not yet desired to initiate a peacekeeping operation (humanitarian intervention) under the UN mandate for a greater involvement of Russia, China, India and one of the key regional powers – Iran, into the coalition against IS. The fight is made difficult by a dual game of the Persian Gulf monarchies. They have formally entered the coalition and have even indicated their participation in air raids on Islamist positions, but non-government organizations and various Wahhabi funds continue to feed the Islamic State. With everything necessary, “Dzhabhat en-Nusra” is recruiting new fighters all around the globe.
Without the dethronement of an attractive for many ideology of radical Islam, without the stopping of the jihadist influx from all over the world, without depriving IS the support of the local Sunni citizens, without blocking of military, financial, any other aid from outside, achieving a breakthrough in the near future in the fight with a terrorist monster will be unlikely.
According to the official FSS and the Interior Ministry of Russia data, today nearly two thousand Russians and almost five thousand immigrants from CIS countries are now in the IS ranks on Syria and Iraq territories. It is not exclusive that a part of them will return to their homeland to conduct subversive and terrorist activities. The preventative arrests and the detention of dozens of recruiters and fighters conducted by Russian Special Forces in October prove those concerns. Like many other countries in the world, Russia is celebrating Islam renaissance, which is followed by the spread of radical and extreme views. Some foreign centers are trying to use that as a way to penetrate Russia and CIS countries with a subversive activity.
The resistance to the threat of the spread of radical Islam and the birth it gives to international terrorism in Russia, countries of the CIS, in the world as a whole is only possible with joint efforts. It can be argued that a significant amount of help can come from Muslim communities, who, based on the tenets of the Quran and other theological treatises expose the criminal Islamist groups, which have nothing to do with the actual values and the culture of one of the main religions in the world.
Leading Researcher of the Center of International Security IMEMO, Candidate of Historical Sciences