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Tags: isis | syria | bombing | iraq

Beware, ISIS Is Coming Back

Beware, ISIS Is Coming Back
A Syrian rebel covers his ears during battles with pro-government fighters in western Daraa province on July 10, 2018. A suicide car bombing killed 14 newly reconciled fighters from pro-government and rebel ranks in an attack on a south Syrian village claimed by the Islamic State group. (Ahmad al-Msalam/AFP/Getty Images)

Micah Halpern By Wednesday, 01 August 2018 04:31 PM Current | Bio | Archive

ISIS is making a comeback.

ISIS is acting and organizing both outside of the Middle East, where this most formidable of all terrorist organizations is attacking soft targets, and also in certain parts of the Middle East where they are acting aggressively and murderously. ISIS is coming on hard and strong. These Islamic, extremist thugs are on the rise despite the proud announcements proclaiming that ISIS had been destroyed.

Four highly coordinated suicide bomb attacks, perpetrated by ISIS, hit the southern Syrian town of Suwiyah earlier this week.

The result was 250 people murdered, over 180 wounded, and 36 more — 20 women and 16 children, kidnapped. This was one of the deadliest attacks in the long history of the Syrian civil war. All the victims were Druze. Druze, a split off of Islam, is a secret religion that is seen by ISIS as heretical. Over the past few years ISIS has repeatedly attacked Druze villages, massacring the men and forcing the women and children into slavery.

The four attacks took place as Syria basks in the glory of what they are calling a total victory over ISIS and the rebels who, for the past seven and a half years, have been trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Apparently, that victory over ISIS is not as clear cut as we have been led to believe. But even now, not too many people are paying attention to this rekindling and reconstitution of ISIS. And that only increases the danger and enhances the ability of ISIS to do their dastardly deeds. Vigilance is key. These are developments that we, the Western world, should not — cannot — ignore.

ISIS is not yet grabbing land — right now they are murdering, kidnapping, using guerilla tactics, and instilling fear in southern Syria. What they are doing in Syria they are doing in Iraq. And just as Syria was taken by surprise by ISIS' resurgence, Iraq was taken by surprise.

While ISIS is not yet controlling any complete region in Iraq, they are working towards that goal. And they are making headway. The ISIS comeback in Iraq has been slow and steady and they have yet to take control of swaths of the country. For now, they collect in isolated areas and venture out to carry out their attacks. Their operations of choice involve guerrilla tactics — ISIS knows that those tactics have not only a deadly effect, but they also instill fear in the hearts of their intended victims.

The ISIS resurgence in Iraq comes only months after Iraqis, like the Syrians, declared a total victory over ISIS. Only a few short months ago, according to an official announcement made in Iraq, ISIS was totally defeated. When Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared total victory over ISIS in early December, 2017 it was front page news not only at home in the Middle East, but also in mainstream Western media.

At the time Prime Minister Abadi said: “Our forces fully control the Iraqi-Syrian border, and thus we can announce the end of the war against Daesh (ISIS) ... Our battle was with the enemy that wanted to kill our civilization, but we have won with our unity and determination.”

Vladimir Putin concurred with Abadi's assessment. On December 11, 2017, in a similar announcement about Syria, the Russian president proclaimed: “The fact that we defeated ISIS, one of the main terrorist groups, here in Syria is extremely important for Syria, Russia, and the entire world.”

Wishful thinking — perhaps. Premature celebration — certainly.

And ISIS has set their sights farther outside the Middle East. Their successes in Syria and Iraq have not sated their appetite for conquest and destruction. ISIS is attacking U.S. and Western targets. The same week that ISIS attacked Syria and Iraq, ISIS attacked central Asia.

In this case four tourists — two Americans, one Swiss, and one Dutch — were riding bicycles in Tajikistan when a car rammed into them. The victims were murdered after the car that had plowed into them turned and ran over them again. The terror attack took place on a highway 60 miles southeast of the Tajiki capital, Dashanbe.

The Clarion Project, an organization created to further education about radical Islam, issued an ISIS terror map for 2018. According to the map, which does not even include these latest terror attacks in Syria, Iraq, and Tajikistan, ISIS is still very active. Many analysts and think tanks agree and are trying to suggest that it is too early to rest on laurels when it comes to ISIS. The web is still filled with ISIS recruitment ads and promises of a rosy future for all takers.

ISIS is not out of the game. The best tool in their arsenal is fear. The tactics they used most recently in Syria — massive coordinated bombing and group kidnappings — are the same tactics they used in 2003 when, in their very first operation in Iraq against the insurgence. It is those tactics that, fifteen years ago, changed our world and caused the letters I-S-I-S and I-S-I-L to become a significant part of our lexicon.

ISIS' guerrilla operations need to be stopped. ISIS cannot be permitted to reconstitute itself, not in Iraq, not in Syria or Tajikistan, not anyplace.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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ISIS' guerrilla operations need to be stopped. ISIS cannot be permitted to reconstitute itself, not in Iraq, not in Syria or Tajikistan, not anyplace.
isis, syria, bombing, iraq
Wednesday, 01 August 2018 04:31 PM
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