Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

War against Islamic State: The key to the back door of Syria

If the West had not broken every law in the book in the last fifteen years in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, we might believe that its fight against Islamic State (IS) was a genuine posture of goodwill against an evil and barbaric regime, whose demise nobody would mourn. However this is not the case. IS is the key to Syria's back door.

The Islamic State has had many names since its beginning in 1999, when it appeared as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in Jordan, from where it moved into Iraq after the illegal US-UK invasion in 2003 and became Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), or Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn. During the insurgency against the Western forces and the Iraqi army, several groups (including AQI) joined to form the Mujahideen Shura Council, becoming later the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). When the West started to destabilize Syria by using terrorist groups to fight against the legitimate Government of President Bashar al-Assad, ISI became ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), then ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and today, Islamic State (IS).

The history of the development of Islamic State is a development which was wholly caused by Western intervention in the region, taking advantage of the void created in Iraq with the removal of President Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti and the space created in Eastern Syria with the arming of terrorist Salafist groups fighting against Damascus.

While the West did not actively create IS, IS formed as a result of Western policy and now suddenly, the FUKUS Axis (France-UK-US) leads the charge with a handful of European sycophantic lackeys and of course the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, any one of them with questionable to deplorable human rights records, as if the West could care less who it jumps into bed with.

And so the Great Alliance is formed without an active mandate from any international law-enforcing body. Let us then analyze the greater picture and this runs by removing President Assad and substituting Russian gas supplies to Europe with natural gas from the Qatari fields. It also runs by a desperate attempt by the Gulf States to stave off what has been promising to come for quite some time - a popular movement sweeping the monarchies off their feet, into the sea and distributing the vast wealth of the Gulf States among the people. So let us examine the different angles...

First, the operatives of Islamic State. How many of them were trained by NATO personnel in camps on the Turkish and Jordanian borders with Syria and released to fight the Syrian armed forces to topple the Government of President Assad?

Points to watch out for: Once the going gets tough, Islamic State fighters may start to speak out about how much support they have received from the West.

Secondly, the toppling of Assad has long been the objective of the Saudi Government, furious when the USA turned back from its plan to enter the Syrian conflict earlier this year, eager to get Washington back on board to attack Syria, the main ally of its main rival in the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is said behind the scenes that the support of Saudi Arabia and the GCC States against IS comes at the price of a promise this time to go all the way to Damascus.

Points to watch out for: The inevitable Western mission creep, when bombing raids start to target Syrian Armed Forces units as the onus shifts from destroying IS to supporting the Free Syrian Army to take power in Damascus, form a Government and deny Russia its Mediterranean base, undermine the Russian natural gas supply to Europe by launching a new route from Qatar.

Thirdly, the involvement against Islamic State works ephemerally only in favor of President Assad, whose forces are combating them but also the Free Syrian Army, a more moderate anti-Assad group, but nevertheless a terrorist force destroying Syrian society, caught between the Syrian Arab Army and IS.

Points to watch out for: How long will it be before we witness open and massive support for the FSA against the forces of President Assad, including bombing raids to help them secure positions?

Fourthly, targeting Iran's main ally in the region and pushing Iran's influence back eastwards of Iraq would remove the Islamic Republic (Shia) as a regional power and a block to the interests of (Sunni) Saudi Arabia and the GCC States.

Points to watch out for: After Syria, who is next?

Fifthly, the Peshmerga (Kurdish Armed Forces) have long been allied to the West and this time around, continue to be armed by NATO countries to fight against IS.

Points to watch out for: Are we going to witness the creation of a pro-Western Kurdish State in the region?

Where it might backfire

Blindspots to watch out for: The unrest in the Gulf does not only come from Islamic State - the despotic rulers of the Gulf region have been cracking down on more representative movements since before Islamic State appeared. Iran might be the next target after Syria, but will Saudi Arabia and the billionaire Gulf Kingdoms survive as they are for much longer? Rather than the threat coming from outside, it might very come from Wahhabist and Takfiri groups within.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that Islamic State provides Washington with all the keys to all the locks on the back door to Syria and the padlock on its chains. It provides a carte blanche for action against Syria, first, Iran later, for the creation of a pro-West Kurdish State and the permanent destruction of any forces which would threaten the hegemony of the Gulf States in the region and the perpetuation of their ruling classes in power, guaranteeing easy access to the region's resources for the West.

As for Islamic State, the bottom line is that it is a savage and barbaric grouping which commits massacres, attacks women and children, and kills Moslems. According to the Quran 4:93, whosoever kills a believer intentionally spends the rest of eternity in Hell.

In fact, Islamic State also provides a flexible tool to be used and abused when the need arises and this tool can be used to further undermine Russia's economy and strategic interests.

 

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru

(timothy.hinchey@gmail.com)