Has ISIS Finally Been Defeated? Are Warnings Otherwise Fueled By The Military Industrial Complex?
Citizen Truth has covered the influence of the military industrial complex has on the Pentagon and politicians within the United States.
On Saturday the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stated the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) lost their last stronghold in the city of Baghouz in eastern Syria. If reports are accurate this would end the terrorist organizations self-proclaimed caliphate which came into power in 2014. Mustafa Bali, head of SDF press office in northern Syria made the announcement over Twitter.
Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and %100 territorial defeat of ISIS. On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible. #SDFDefeatedISIS
— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) March 23, 2019
The SDF is a coalition made of Arab and Kurdish soldiers. Through throughout much of the fighting in Iraq and Syria, those forces were supported by air and logistical support by forces from the British, French, and United States.
The final assault on the ISIS stronghold of Baghouz began earlier in the year.
Inside The Battle At Bahouz
From a CNN report in February:
Before the assault began, civilians fled the town. A 14-year-old boy, who was severely wounded by a mortar round, was carried for miles by his family. Earlier this week, SDF officials said they believed there are 1,500 civilians in the town and 500 ISIS fighters. Some of these are the most battle-hardened, ruthless and experienced fighters remaining in ISIS. With hundreds of civilians fleeing this week before the SDF assault, it is unclear how many people remained in the town Saturday. The SDF knows even victory here doesn’t mean ISIS is totally defeated.
Is ISIS Finished? Ideological Debate Surrounding Information
Joseph Votel, the top United States General in the Middle East disagree with President Trump’s astonishing decision for an immediate withdraw of troops from Syria, arguing that ISIS had yet to have been defeated. Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists, and Socialists around the United States critiqued Votel’s assessment. The Young Turks, Secular Talk, TYT Nation, were some of the prominent Social Democratic voices which were in approval of President Trump’s decision — one of the rare moments either have agreed with one of his decisions.
ISIS may conduct opportunistic attacks on U.S. personnel as they withdraw but will leverage the event as a “victory” in its media. ISIS remains an active insurgent group in both Iraq and Syria. If Sunni socio-economic, political, and sectarian grievances are not adequately addressed by the national and local governments of Iraq and Syria it is very likely that ISIS will have the opportunity to set conditions for future resurgence and territorial control. Currently, ISIS is regenerating key functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria, but absent sustained [counterterrorism] pressure, ISIS could likely resurge in Syria within six to twelve months and regain limited territory in the [Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV)].
According to independent analysts, as of December 2018, ISIS remained in pockets of Syria that are outside of the Coalition’s area of operations. The Coalition operates in northeastern Syria and a 55-kilometer area surrounding the At Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria. ISIS maintains a presence in opposition-held Idlib province, areas south of Damascus, and in the Badiyah Desert near the At Tanf garrison.48 OUSD(P)/ISA reported to the DoD OIG in December that reaching a political solution to the Syrian Civil War under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 “will be critical in addressing the ISIS threat across all of Syria.”49 The classified appendix further discusses ISIS activity outside the Coalition’s areas of operation.
Citizen Truth has covered the influence of the military industrial complex has on the Pentagon and politicians within the United States, leading to many anti-war advocates being skeptical of such reports — especially considering the United States military has been participating in warfare within Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria since October 7, 2001 when the war in Afghanistan began.
Neo-conservatives who are in favor of an aggressive foreign policy argue in favor of continued warfare in order to keep mainland United States safe from terror threats. However, their argument is rebuked by anti-war activists who rightfully state the continued bombing and supplying of weaponry in the Middle East creates resentment towards the United States. In the upcoming months, the long-term approach to ISIS in the Middle East will become clear, yet President Trump could change his mind multiple times before a plan is put into action or is even developed.