ISIS has been militarily defeated in Syria largely through the combined efforts of Russian and Syrian forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced. No concerted military ISIS forces remain on the ground in the Middle Eastern country. Although a few dislocated bands of ISIS militants continue to exist and roam certain areas continues to remain a reality, they don’t constitute an orchestrated military or particular threat.
As far as Russia’s goal in the region is concerned, ISIS has been by and large defeated and the Russian mission accomplished, with the tackling of disjointed bands here and there not being a part of their role in Syria. However, considering the number of national powers which have declared their intent to eradicate the terrorist organization operating in the region, there really is no real reason why any militants are left to breathe Syria’s oxygen other than that it appears that not all who claim to be in Syria for the purpose of eradicating ISIS truly have that intent, and, consequently, act more as an obstruction to this goal.
Therefore, ISIS’s existence in the Middle Eastern country is more of a blight on Western foreign policy aimed at fighting terrorism, given that their refusal to cooperate in a united effort with Syrian and Russian forces is to some extent responsible for it, as Western powers wish to, in reality, focus their efforts on fighting Syrian forces for the purpose of obtaining a regime change in Syria. As long as this remains the primary goal, rather than fighting terrorism, and, hey, if the terrorists are fighting the Syrians too, then the West can see the terrorists as a strategic ally in helping to distract and sap away at Syrian military power and resources, which helps advance NATO’s, led by the US, cause. Effectively, as far as Western strategy is concerned, the more folks fighting Assad’s forces, the merrier. Hence, the Western forces on the ground in Syria aren’t in a particular hurry to take out the remaining terrorist forces in Syria.
This lack of a unified front among powers supposedly committed to ISIS’s eradication is essentially why they continue to exist and present a threat, not to just to Syria, but to nations around the world, as ISIS sympathizers and radicalized individuals can develop or carry out a terrorist attack wherever they may be due to their guerilla tactics. As long as ISIS continues to exist to be looked to by radicals as a cause to sympathize with, and as long as it can continue to publish its propaganda, the threat continues.
However, in announcing in his statement to members of the Moscow Conference on International Security, the terrorist organization can carry out attacks in different nations and regions through their changing tactics. RT reports:
“Despite its military defeat, this terrorist group [IS] retains its significant destructive potential, it can change its tactics and launch attacks in different countries and regions in the world,” President Putin said in a statement addressed to members of the Moscow Conference on International Security.
Other extremist groups also present a big threat to the world, according to the Russian leader.
Putin stressed that it is now necessary to think about new forms of “multilateral cooperation.” It would allow the parties “to consolidate the success” achieved in the fight against terrorism and “to prevent the further spread of this threat.”
Together with training from some of ISIS’s Western backers, whenever and wherever they are provided with the opportunity, they can strike civilian populations without warning, even when those efforts are lacking state sponsorship. In the effort of fighting the extremism of the terrorist group, Putin sensibly suggested, once again, that a united cooperation of the nations of the world in their efforts to combat terrorist activity, could cooperatively contribute to a more successful fight against terrorism.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.