World Current Affairs - 2020

ISIS advance in Syria despite airstrikes

The ISIS which has moved and acquired vast territories across Iraq and Syria and seemingly undeterred by the US-led airstrikes which have even claimed to have done major impacts on the group. The ISIS militants have already declared Syrian town of Raqqa as the undisputed capital of Islamic State. The brutal organisation has ever since continued their journey of further acquisitions of newer areas. Dozens of rounds of airstrikes at the strategic points in the IS area have somehow failed to thwart the plans of the militants as they have continued their advance unabated.
The recent town which is on the verge of falling to the hands of IS is the Syrian town of Kobani. The occupation of IS will not only spell doom and massacre for the local populations but also mean that IS will only be 100 kilometers away from Turkey. The ground witnesses have constantly said that the attacks are too few and too far from the emerging frontlines that they have miserably failed to pause the momentum of ISIS.
Idriss Nassan, a Kobani official has told the media, “We need help. We need weapons. We need more effective airstrikes. If the situation stays like this, we will see a massacre. I can’t imagine what will happen if ISIS gets inside Kobani”.
US President Barack Obama has also publically admitted to have underestimated the scale of unrest and civil war in Syria which has eventually turned the country into a breeding ground for jihadists. The terrorists have taken advantage of the absence of civil rule and governance and were comfortably able to reconstitute themselves. Another major, folly which Obama admitted was putting too much confidence in Iraqi forces as well.
ISIS militants seemed to have gauged the strategy of airstrikes and have moved swiftly to prepare backup plans especially of hiding their resources in civilian areas.

Obama: US Intelligence underestimated IS in Syria

US –led coalition has started its operation on Syrian soils in the northern city of Ayn al-Arab which is the latest area where the forces have conducted air-strikes. President Obama in a recent interview to media told that the US intelligence had miscalculated the extent and reach of IS in Syria. Also, US had placed high stakes and hopes on the Iraqi army and its ability to tackle the militants. He also, referred to the time when US led forces had dismantled Al-Qaeda from Iraq with the help of local tribesmen. However, he acknowledged that the conditions in Syria are different from the ones in Iraq as it has been involved in an intense civil war which had disrupted the law and order situation completely. Such emptiness of authority had provided conducive conditions for ISIS to gain ground and reconstitute themselves. IS has been able to root itself in Syria due to the chaos and unrest.

Lack of order and proper governance structures allowed jihadists to make Syria ground zero for their activities. Obama administration which till a few days back was widely criticised for having no strategy to combat IS, is finely moving swiftly towards having a full-scale war in the territory. The US which had started its campaign against the group after the barbaric beheading of two US journalists, moved from Iraq to Syria with the help of a huge coalition.

Obama again reiterated the military goal against Islamic State: “We just have to push them back, and shrink their space, and go after their command and control, and their capacity, and their weapons, and their fueling, and cut off their financing, and work to eliminate the flow of foreign fighters.”