Syria is said to have launched air strikes in Western and Northern Iraq to slow down the insurgency but despite their best efforts the civilian casualties remain high while the Islamic State grows in power. The air strikes were allegedly an effort on part of the Syrian government. They have only escalated the already taught tension between the two countries and their borders. Remaining al-Qaida members were thought to be the source of the attack as this rebel group has long been attacking both the governments of Syria and Iraq but the latest news reports indicate that more than one rebel group was involved. The Jihadi faction is quickly becoming more powerful through the work of these new insurgents. The fact that these diverse rebel groups are willing to put aside their differences shows their commitment to the idea of an Islamic State above all else. Where there was dangerous infighting between these different rebel groups they have now joined together for the common goal of toppling the two countries governments.
Frustrated al-Qaida members defected from the group joining with the powerful Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. It seems the insurgents were able to put their differences aside in order to achieve their common goal of destabilizing and opposing President Bashar al-Assad. With the added members and firepower groups such as ISIS and ISIL have successfully captured key cities in Northern and Western Iraq. Despite best attempts on the part of Syria, the Islamic State grows in power.
White House officials say there is no reason to doubt that these airstrikes came from Syrian government. The missiles’ targets were the cities captured by the rebels, no matter how ineffective and problematic they were. The US disagrees with the Syrian government’s aggressive approach. Bernadette Meehan, a National Security Council spokeswoman, was quoted saying that the answer to the threat is not the returned aggression that Syria has shown. She also went on to suggest that the solution to the problem would be to strengthen the the security forces already in place in Iraq. This appears to be the current strategy for the United States.
Other nearby nations are also becoming curious about the situation—trying to determine the right course of action to maintain and stabilize peace in this highly contentious area. Reports are coming in that Iran may also be flying surveillance drones around the affected areas, gathering information and security data as the Iranian government plans its next move. In this scenario it seems as though the US and Iran can agree on the idea of watching and waiting. The US has taken a little bit more of a step towards solving the problem. Without any military involvement or engagement, they are increasing their surveillance and have dispatched three hundred military advisors to teach and bolster the security forces in Iraq.
This troubling union with the Islamic State, or ISIS, could be a way of self-preservation for those fringe rebel groups who are running low on resources. Or even more troubling is the idea that the message of the Islamic State is so compelling that more and more rebel groups will be drawn towards its incendiary tactics. The US is keeping a close eye on the situation and is still developing a strategy which doesn’t involve intervention. Despite all attempts by Syria and other nations so far, the Islamic State continues to grow in power.
By Sindhu Reddy