LOSING GROUND

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Aug 2017 12:34:18

FINALLY, the international coalition led by the US and Russia has been successful in turning the tables on the Islamic State militants, who are fighting a losing battle in Syria and Iraq. The Syrian and Iraqi armies are fast recovering lost ground, dislodging the dreaded outfit from its strongholds in both the countries including Mosul and now in the Homs province in Syria. The defeat of IS has rekindled the hope of peace returning to the war torn-nations that have been devastated totally due to years of war that has claimed thousands of lives, besides causing heavy damage to the cities.

It’s a matter of time before the IS is completely wiped out. The rise of the dreaded outfit was dramatic. After the most wanted terrorist of the world, Osama bin Laden, was eliminated by the US Navy Seals in top secret operation in Pakistan, and terror bases in Afghanistan were bombed by the NATO forces led by the US, it was thought that the fangs of the militant organisations have been crushed. However, it proved to be a temporary relief as soon thereafter, terrorists from several countries left Afghanistan and started regrouping under the banner of the Islamic State, founded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who announced formation of an Islamic caliphate.


The IS adopted different tactics to swell its ranks. It unleashed a propaganda war on social media network in a big way. The IS succeeded in poisoning the minds of thousands of youths across the world, who left their homes to join the so-called jehad.

The IS was soon on the high. According to a US report, as many as 40,000 foreign fighters from 110 countries had joined the IS in 2015. And the numbers kept increasing with each passing day, at the same time, giving sleepless nights to the rest of the world. Armed with lethal weapons, the IS fighters started capturing important cities in Syria and Iraq. They just butchered anyone coming their way and entrenched themselves in residential complexes, making it difficult for the forces to dislodge them. Soon, the IS started running parallel government.


However, as the brutality of the IS against the civilians grew and the beleaguered Syrian President Mr. Bashar al Assad used poisonous gas against his own people killing 74 including women and children, the entire world was shocked, fuelling demand for strong international action against the IS and Mr. Assad.

Though with the backing of Russia, Mr. Assad managed to survive, the IS received a crippling blow from the US and Russia both. Meanwhile, reports came that the IS chief has been killed in airstrike. The reported death of Baghdadi gave a boost to the security forces and a body blow to the IS. Since then, the IS is losing ground everywhere and it’s a matter of time before entire Iraq and Syria is cleared of the IS militants.


Once the IS is defeated totally, Syria would face other challenges of transition and rehabilitation. Years of bombings have destroyed almost all the buildings in Syria. It would be a tough task for the Government to rebuild the nation. Because, it would take a long time before the infrastructure is ready again. Besides, it will require massive funds. Right now, Syria has no wherewithal to rebuild itself. Once the war ends, there is a likelihood of Syria witnessing a power struggle.


Even as the IS is losing ground in Syria and Iraq, the world leaders will have to start taking steps to ensure that the region does not relapse into another spell of unrest and uncertainty. The gains achieved on ground should not be wasted in palace coups and revolt. The population in Syria and Iraq and have suffered a lot. They deserve peace and a happy life. The world must strive to help them out, as it did in defeating IS.