The threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria has reached an all time high. Last week President Obama announced to the world that the United States will lead a coalition of nations whose aim will be to degenerate the spread of ISIL’s control in the Middle East.
“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
The Islamic State’s cash and assets have a value of over 2 billion dollars, with a daily revenue of 3 million dollars (U.S.) and ISIL currently occupies over 13,000 square miles in territory.
President Obama is relying heavily on the advice of the US intelligence community. They believe a major concern is the threat of foreigners, who travel to Iraq and Syria to assist the Islamic State in the expansion of its territory and the advancement of its ideology. Intelligence experts also are weary foreigners could return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks similar to those on 9/11.
Since the beginning of the year ISIL has made large territorial gains, primarily in northern Iraq. Sinjar, Tal-Afar, Mosul and Fallujah have all fallen into ISIS’s hands. According to recent figures released by the CIA, the Islamic State currently has as many as 31,000 militants under its direct control. COC Political Science Professor Dr. Majid Mosleh told Cougar News, “We’ve noticed that their [ISIS] presence in various parts of the Middle East has grown to the extent that they seem to be completely out of control. They are sort of growing and mushrooming in the Middle East.”
ISIS has plainly and indiscriminately carried out the brutal executions of thousands of Muslim and Christian men, women and children. Both the United Nations and Amnesty International have accused the Islamic state of grave human rights violations.
In order to stop the advances of the Islamic State, President Obama has authorized a campaign of airstrikes. The President stated that airstrikes alone would not suffice and believes that ground forces will be necessary. He insists, however, that these forces will not have a combat mission.