ISIL Brings Old Friends Together


Poster published 23 March 2011 on social networking websites urging Syrians to demonstrate.

Meredith Morgan, Staff Writer

If one looks at the list of allies that have come to aid the US in its efforts to stop ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) they will see familiar faces that have long supported the US in the fight for worldwide democracy. Former friends from World Wars past and others have come forward to help in the fight against this deadly terrorist organization. Countries such as France, which was seen as less than supportive of US military action in recent years, have become one of the strongest allies in US campaigns of recent weeks. Countries such as Denmark, which are usually very middle ground and impartial in active military situations, have come to the US’ side and provided airstrikes and resources. Most surprisingly of all, the ISIS conflict has brought Iraqi government officials such as its PM to come forward in public support of Western efforts to end the violence.

What this coming together of many different nations seems to signify is that the ideals of freedom, democracy, peace, and human rights are far more important to the UN and its allies than any previous differences that they may have had. The situation with ISIL has escalated far beyond what anyone expected; the US and its continuously growing group of allies will not allow this to threaten the security of its citizens or the proliferation of its anti-Western hatred. The daily efforts and growing support of military campaigns and foreign involvement in this situation are clear signs of unwavering commitment from the West to make sure ISIS violence does not prevail in its endeavors.

To get a firmer grasp of the unrest and violence one must rewind to the unfortunate events that led to the forming of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Towards the middle of 2013, with the Syrian Civil War entering its third year, the US pulled out all of its troops from Iraq. With the War on Terror then stretched over ten years, the US was desperate to leave the region and there was great debate within Washington as to whether this departure was premature or long overdue. Without foreign presence within Iraq, riots and uprisings quickly spread. ISIS fighters in Iraq began identifying with al-Qaeda groups in Syria and later formally identified themselves as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The conflict has since continued to escalate and include other players in the region but mostly Syria and Iraq. The ultimate goal of the organization is to establish an Islamic state throughout the Islamic world in the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of the sub-Continent.

There is an increasing threat for global safety as the groups starts to travel and target Western populations outside of their borders, specifically beheading Western citizens and publicly admitting to planned attacks on Westerners in other countries. The biggest question now is how to break this threat without putting more US and foreign troops on the ground in ISIL territory. Is the US ready to be involved in another war? The answer from Obama has been a clear ‘no,’ but protecting freedom and preventing innocent human lives being lost daily pushes on a much more controversial debate of whether or not to engage in war. For now, the US and its growing group of allies will stand together in their joint effort to stop the violence and better understand their enemy.


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