‘Killing of ISIS chief for Trump more political than military’
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 29: The announcement of the liquidation of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a US air operation has sparked controversy over the timing of the operation, which the US media has reported saying it was planned weeks ago, reports Al-Rai daily.
US President Donald Trump, at a time when he faces measures to impeach him on the one hand, and is preparing for re-election as president on the other hand, the Kuwaiti academics differ on whether Trump could benefit from Baghdadi’s ‘murder’, either in the face of Congress or in his upcoming election campaign, but they all agreed on one point — that the death of ISIS leader did not mean the end of terrorism.
Dr Abdullah Al-Shayji, Professor of political science at the Kuwait University said all leaders of terrorist organizations such as Osama bin Laden and al- Baghdadi have been assassinated by US forces prior to running for the presidency and cited the cases of former US president Barack Obama and now Trump. Al-Shayji in a statement to Al- Rai said “the process of liquidation of Baghdadi came as a gift that will give a qualitative and important victory for President Trump personally, in addition to his achievements.
He will use this victory in his campaigning to run for a second term, to respond to the critics within his party, such as Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senator Graham, and military commanders who have strongly criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria.
Professor of Political Science, Dr Abdullah Al-Ghanim said the killing of Baghdadi for the US president is more political than military, because the leader (ISIS) no longer has a military weight as it was in the past, and there is great ease to replace him, especially since he has made few appearances and does not have a certain charisma to say that his disappearance may affect the organization, which has diminished in its entirety. Political analyst Shafiq Al- Ghabra said that “the killing of Baghdadi will not change anything in the existing equations, but to the contrary may lead to a wave of violence, as the (ISIS) has been pushed against the wall more than what it was years ago.
In a statement to Al-Rai, he expressed doubts that the US president can benefit and invest Baghdadi’s death in his campaign with all the scandals that follow him, pointing out that the US withdrawal from Syria was a reflection of the general state of decline experienced by the United States in recent years — exhaustion from previous wars, and can no longer do what they were doing in the past, and that their withdrawal was logical.
For her part, Dr Istiqlal Al-Azmi political science professor at the Gulf University in the Kingdom of Bahrain explained the ISIS will not end its activities with the killing of Baghdadi and said other organizations may appear in other form.
She said the challenges in front of everyone are big. She pointed out that the timing of the announcement of the killing of Baghdadi coincides with the battle to impeach President Trump, but he may use this ‘victory’ to make some gains on the home front.