BY IVAN ZHYKHARIEV
The rapid rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) has people around the world in a state of fear. The militant group that has taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq has the countries in the region on high alert.
ISIS poses an imminent threat for Western countries. The United States declared its willingness to tackle the jihadist terrorists, but it will take broader alliance to defeat the ISIS. Longstanding conflicts in the Middle East and the complexity of the political environment suggest that creating an international coalition might be an even bigger challenge than actually defeating ISIS.
As Northern Iraqi territory is under control of the jihadist rebel group, the US government has authorized airstrikes, however they have refused to send ground troops back to Iraq only two years after pulling the troops out of the region. The demoralized Iraqi Army can hardly pose any resistance against the insurgents.
In September, Iraqi Prime Minister Nauri Maliki, stepped down and the new government was unveiled. The new government will be given all the means necessary to fight ISIS, as military advisers and American equipment have been deployed to Baghdad.
The Iranian Government declared itself as the Shia power of the region years ago; however, the Islamic State considers the Shia sect of Islam as heresy. ISIS has pledged to kill the Shia people.
Even though Iran opposes every international cooperation effort involving the US or the United Kingdom, the Iranian Government called for cooperation as the ISIS threat becomes more and more daunting.
Iranian-backed militia has been deployed on the border with Iraq, while back-channelling is underway in order to establish the alliance against the jihadist terrorists.
“Iran will not hesitate to protect holy [Shia] shrines,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Earlier this year ISIS threatened to destroy the relics, which are precious to the Shia community.
The country is considered to be a stronghold of the Islamic militants as President Bashar al-Assad has been warning the international community about threats from the jihadists.
“This is an organization that has an apocalyptic end-of-days strategic vision that will eventually have to be defeated,” said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no.”
Moreover, the US government made efforts to urge Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS reportedly in exchange for guarantees that President Assad will be forced out of power in Syria.
Russia is the biggest supporter of Assad’s regime in Syria, backing him with diplomatic powers and military might. Putin’s government vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolutions condemning Assad’s methods of dealing with peaceful protests.
Russia’s backing of the Syrian government prompted ISIS to vow to overthrow Putin in Russia and liberate the Northern regions of Caucasus, including Chechnya and Ingushetia.
In July, Russia responded by sending 25 Sukhoi fighter jets to Iraqi government in order to better their air forces.
The British government is cooperating with the French and Germans in order to deal with the apparent humanitarian crisis in Iraq. However, it was established that in order to fight ISIS in Iraq, military means will be required. Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been receiving substantial military support as weaponry supplies being sent to the region.
David Cameron reacted to the atrocities conducted by the militants with shock.
“We must confront this menace. We must drive back, dismantle and ultimately destroy [ISIS],” said Cameron. He remarked that Islam is a religion of peace, and said of the militants, “they are not Muslims; they are monsters.”
The UK supported the US decision to use military action against ISIS and have began counter-terrorist operations in Britain, due to the fact a number of EU citizens travelled down to Syria and Iraq to fight under the ISIS flag.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar were accused of supporting ISIS, however, ISIS is against any form of monarchy in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has started an investigation into the alleged backing of the terrorist group by Saudi businessmen and politicians.
King Abdullah deployed 30,000 troops to improve the security along its border with Iraq and an agreement was reached to discuss possible solutions to the crisis with Iran, who have been their biggest rival in the region.
It is evidently of upmost importance for the militant group to be eradicated.