Cover Story Related: The Bloodletting Terror in Iraq
Intro: ISIS and similar terror groups could acquire the present-day strength solely from the arms supplied and the aid given by the Obama Administration.
The mutilated bodies strewn across the streets of Mosul, the second largest city of Iraq reflect the horror of brutal and barbaric terror which outdoes all terror attacks undertaken, hitherto anywhere worldwide. The fierce onslaught of just 1500 bloodletting militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), in pursuit of its motto of creating a caliphate by spreading jihad across the world, was so lethal that even the soldiers, almost outnumbering the jihadists 10 times, had stripped off their uniforms in streets out of terror and fled away along with half a million innocent people, who had to flee to save their lives.
The fleeing soldiers of Iraqi army had left a huge stockpile of America-supplied arms, ammunition and armoured vehicles including six Black Hawk helicopters to fall in the hands of the dreaded militants. Huge cash, almost around 500 billion Dinars, lying in the vaults of the banks of Mosul, which ought to have been burnt before the soldiers fled Mosul, was also left intact to fall in the hands of the ISIS fighters.
The dreaded crisis of today is believed to be purely a crisis made by Obama administration, as the ISIS fighters were fuelled by the unwarranted intervention of the western powers in Syria to destablise Bashar Assad that led to mis-handling of Syrian crisis.
The jihadi organization ISIS and similar terror groups could acquire the present-day strength solely from the arms supplied, and the aid given by the Obama Administration to terrorist groups, including the ISIS and other opposition groups in Syria, to fight against the Syrian government of Bashar Assad. Infact, the US President Obama is being alleged to have crossed the moral red line, when he announced to arm the terrorist groups in Syria.
Fourteen months back, in April 2013, the ISIS, which was confined to Iraq alone, got tempted to expand across the border into Syria, just to get the US aid and arms being given to fight against Assad regime in Syria. Only last year, it (the ISIS) has changed its name from Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by adding words “and al-Sham” with its name, which means “Greater Syria”. It would not have been possible for the ISIS to expand across the border into Syria had it not been for American arms and support.
It was by virtue of the arms and money provided by the US alone, that it (ISIS) could capture the east-Syrian town of Raqqa to expand quickly to exploit the Syrian oilfields thereafter to earn the requisite money to fight the present day jihadi war. Earlier till 2010, ISIS used to fight only as part of the Al-Qaeda. Now, it imposes taxes independently as
sovereign state in the parts of Syria and Iraq, which it has conquered and also mobilises funds by ransoming foreign hostages.
US administration was warned of such moves, by persons like Jeffrey K Tuhner in the Washington Times last September. He said, “President Obama said that he would waive a federal law designed to prevent weapons from being sent to designated-terrorist organization. Mr. Obama’s actions may be legal, but they are reckless, dangerous and will haunt America for years to come.”
National Security Advisor, Susan Rice insisted that US weapons will only go to “vetted” opposition groups. No one really believes this, particularly with the porous Syria/Iraq border and Obama’s previous waiver of the law preventing the US from arming terrorist groups.
The ruthless slaughtering of Shias, Christians and Alawites, an offshoot from which the Syrian President Bashar Assad hails, and sending of suicide-bombers to market places without concern for civilian casualties by the ISIS ever since 2011, is described as a dangerous strategy by the Islamic experts like Hassan Abu Hanieyeh as well, who is a Jordanian expert on Jihadist movements. Presently, ISIS is estimated to be having around 6000-7000 fighters in Iraq and 4000-5000 in Syria. 3000 foreigners from Chechenya, France, Britain and other parts of Europe. Their rank and file is bound to grow from the prisoners being released by them from the city they have captured. Ultimately, if it takes over Iraq, the geo-political scenario would feel its tremors.
The way terrorist activities have been spreading across the world UN mandated conventions needs to be put in place to curb terrorism and prohibit support to anti-establishment forces or terror groups in the name of supporting opposition or vetted opposition groups, for restoring peace and tranquility world over.
-Dr Bhagwati Prakash Sharma (The writer is the President of Pacific University, Udaipur)