The current situation in Syria and Iraq is presenting a much different challenge for the West and the Middle Eastern region than what it has experienced in the aftermath of 9-11 through the present.
Last night, President Obama laid out a plan to take on the Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). While there is much to applaud in this speech, there are also serious gaps and challenges in the President’s plan that endanger the success of the effort.
While most American attention has been on the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), another danger has been building over the past few months. Since early July, al-Qaeda’s (AQ) affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) or al-Nusra Front, has been quietly on the move.
Douglas McAuthur McCain, an American Islamic State (IS) fighter, was reportedly killed by the Free Syrian Army on August 25, 2014.
Earlier, I posted on the declaration by the Islamic State (IS)—formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)—of a Caliphate that included territory in both Iraq and Syria. The post made several points about this momentous event, including the real potential for resistance from both ordinary Iraqis and other militant groups. As I noted then, everywhere that IS has attempted to implement their extremist version of shari’a on ordinary Muslims who do not support or affirm IS’s vision for the future of Islam, have fought against the militants.