CNN just read ISIS’ (the Islamic State is Iraq and Syria, also known as just the Islamic State in Iraq) answer to the U.S. airstrikes against them overnight.
“You are cowards. Don’t send your drones but send your soldiers. We will humilate them like we did in Iraq. God willing, we will humiliate them everywhere and God willing, we will raise our [ISIS] flag above the White House.”
Unrealistic goal yes, but needless to say they got our attention.Just three months ago, folks were on the fence about weather letting ISIS take over Syria was a good idea. At the same time, Congress was floored when Iraqi soldiers broke ranks and fled Mosul at the sight of ISIS. It goes without saying Iraq is a failed state. ISIS controls almost a third of both Iraq and Syria.
This isn’t like 20 years ago. 9/11 changed the game.
Now, the U.S. is in a difficult position. American assets on the ground aside (beceause that’s half the reason the airstrikes are happening, the other half to stop a potential genocide), it does have a strong partnership with the Kurds in the northern part of the country. That’s where the American consulate is, in fact. At the same time, the Iraqi army was trained by the U.S. Military and we know what happened 3 months ago.
According to some Kurdish representatives who’ve been speaking to the media, this could open the door to the Kurds and the Iraqi armies uniting to take on a common enemy. This would be the best-case scenario as it will also open the door to true reconciliation and an inclusive government in Iraq. It sounds like a long shot but ISIS has made it clear anyone who doesn’t conform to their ideology is fair game. No one disputes that. Remember: Even Al Qaeda said ISIS is too extreme for them.
That’s saying something 😄
Speaking of ISIS: When they took Mosul, they took the American Military assests that were in the city and have integrated them into their army. I use the word army unquoted because even U.S. Intelligence has stated their movements in Iraq and Syria are more in tune with an army and not terrorist fighters. Many of them have fought in the conflicts in the middle east over the last 14 years. They’re not your run of the mill guerilla fighters. These guys are battle-hardened fighters and they mean business. They have tanks, armored personnel vehicles and surface to air missile launchers from their gains in Iraq.
The way they operate, they’re an immediate threat to all the countries in the region. And they know it. By “they” I mean both the countries and ISIS. As CNN has been saying all day, ISIS fights like an army. It will take an army to beat them. While doubtful a combined Kurd-Iraqi will be enough even with U.S. air support, hopefully they can slow them down long enough for some of their neighbors to join the fight.
The only way I can see U.S. Troops getting pulled in is if ISIS takes all of Iraq, all of Syria and then moves on Turkey and Iran. If that happens, terror groups operating in the region will be emboldened and further destabilize the region. The U.S. and Europe will have no choice to send in the troops and then you’ll have your third Gulf War in 30 years.
Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen.