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CURRENTLY, there are two international coalitions fighting against the ISIL and both of them have yet to succeed in eliminating the group. In fact, the group continues to expand despite the intense bombardment.
This is what happened to every group like ISIL. — because every battle against these groups in the last three decades served the interests of some countries. It happened in Afghanistan after the 2001 incident and the same scenario recurred in Iraq.
These groups continued to take advantage of contradictory international positions under the pretext of fighting against the enemy — similar to the way Hezbollah operates in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Shabaab Movement in Somalia.
Unfortunately, such a coalition of countries against terrorism has been unable to crush groups like ISIL and Taleban despite its military and financial powers. It is more astonishing to see nations being prone to massacres and murders, whereas investments are made under these circumstances just to serve the interests of some parties like what occurred in Iran over the past years.
Various countries have imposed embargo on Iran. They accused Iran of nurturing terrorism and protecting al-Qaeda, only to remove it from the blacklist after signing a pact concerning its nuclear project. These countries intentionally forgot their role in terms of international law violations, especially the laws on terrorism.
Actually, the two international coalitions are striving to acquire the largest possible percentage of interests in the Arab region with the assistance of divided Arab countries; while their people are flattened by fire coming from both the coalition and terrorism.
In a bid to justify the inability to differentiate between those posing threat to their existence, groups that precede the ISIL, such as the Assassins (a medieval sect) and others, are ‘exhumed’ from history to prove a point. Based on this completely unrealistic concept, we heard an outstanding official saying, “It will take about 30 years to eliminate this group (ISIL).” We also heard another official saying sarcastically, “It is impossible to eliminate ISIL and all that can be done is to stop its expansion and besiege the group.”
Arabs or not, these people read history books and apply whatever they have deduced from these books on the current world. The difference is that when it comes to medieval sects, groups like the Assassins thrived for long by taking advantage of the vast geographical circumstances and primitive military technology. Above all, this sect did not establish its own State.
In the current world, the ISIL has benefited from the political division in Iraq and the absence of a State in Syria. This has enabled the group to occupy areas under its control and to announce the establishment of a State.
This happened when the United States of America and its allies hesitated to fight against the group, because it saw a way to further strengthen Israel’s security and then achieve its ultimate objective — to declare the Jewish State.
On the other hand, Russia, together with Iran and other allies, said: “Some ceramic breaks for the Arabs to fight each other. Whenever they become weak, we get closer to achieving our goals.”
After being flattened by the ISIL fire, these countries have started to call for fighting against the group; yet they continue to strive towards serving their interests through the group rather than protecting their people.
Despite the crowding of military jets over the skies of Iraq and Syria, there is no indication that this group will be eliminated anytime soon. It will never happen unless the game of interests is set aside. These countries should put the destiny, security and stability of their people into perspective. Only then we can say that the intention to combat terrorism is sincere and serious.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times