Will ISIS give the US ammunition to take military action against Syria and regain a foothold in the region?
As ISIS keeps grabbing headlines, on August 24, 2014 Vatan-e-Emrooz, a daily, featured an article on the likelihood of US military action against Syria. What comes next is the translation of the analysis by the paper’s international desk:
Undoubtedly, the one who would reap maximum benefits from crises engulfing the Middle East is America, the country which made efforts to claw back its lost foothold in the region by turning to the pretext of taking on the terrorist group of ISIS [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria].
Following its rapid advances in northern Iraq and the release of a video in which an ISIS militant beheads US journalist James Foley, the tone American officials and Western countries use to portray the danger posed by the group to America has become increasingly tinged with irony.
Building on the decapitation of James Foley at the hands of ISIS and its threat to the US and Europe, the West sent chills down the spine its own people in order to justify potential military action against the very terrorists it initially nurtured.
Actually, the reason behind Western adoption of such an approach is to regain a lost foothold in the region and facilitate the breakup of countries such as Iraq and Syria. The plot got more exposed when US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on August 20 denounced ISIS as an imminent threat to American interests and said, “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen.”
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby also said, “We do believe they have aspirations to strike Western targets,” but added the group is not believed to have the capability at the moment to attack the United States.
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande also acknowledged that his country’s supply of arms aid to armed Syrian insurgents was a mistake.
More than three years into the Syrian conflict, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon finally weighed in on the matter and pinned the blame of the lingering crisis in Syria on terrorism.
In Britain Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of the House of Commons’ Intelligence and Security Committee, and a former foreign and defense secretary in conservative governments, suggested cooperation with the government of Bashar al-Assad could be one way to take on ISIS and said focusing on the terrorist group only in Iraq while ignoring its operations on the ground in Syria was preposterous.
He told the Financial Times that the “ghastly” killing of US journalist James Foley underscored the need for action against the militant group and added, “The idea that we can have a military operation in Iraq that won’t have a Syrian dimension is inconceivable. For Syria to become an ISIS safe haven – that is ludicrous … I don’t see how we can avoid it.”
With such comments by US and Western officials becoming more frequent, on August 23, CNN reported that the US administration is considering the option of military action on Syrian soil. US officials contend that the probable strikes are intended to deliver a blow to ISIS positions.
Dropping hints on the likelihood of military action in Syria, Deputy US National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes earlier said, “We’re actively considering what’s going to be necessary to deal with that threat. And we’re not going to be restricted by borders.”
However, there is evidence that suggests America has created the terrorist group of ISIS to serve its own interests in Iraq as well as in Syria. By playing the ISIS card, US military presence in the region is going to be certain.
Under the pretext of fighting ISIS, America launched airstrikes on Iraqi Kurdistan despite the fact that it has been a few months since swaths of Iraq came under savage ISIS attacks.
In fact, such a step by America set the stage for Iraqi Kurdistan’s secession from the central government and helped define the borders of US influence in the region.
It is necessary to know that the Iraqi crisis was sparked off by America to have the country undergo the political changes Washington desired. Those changes came to light with the replacement of a prime minister and modification in the Iraqi government’s policy.
In other words, America felt the need for such changes in Iraq. However, what came out of it was a security crisis which spiraled out of control, something which Washington had never seen coming. The US, nonetheless, managed to exploit it to its own benefit and justify its return to Iraq.