On September 26th the United States military led an airstrike against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), targeting “key oil-producing areas” within Syria. Among the attacks were also ISIS training grounds and head quarters, including four tanks. The black market oil sales contribute up to $2 million a day for the terrorist group and the strikes that have taken place were meant to cripple their revenue. This looks like a great first step that the United States is taking to help aid in the eradication of ISIS but it was long overdue. With some of the extremist factions main revenue sources being destroyed in the attacks, it should hinder the group’s ability to acquire weaponry.
This aerial campaign against ISIS has now gained support from British lawmakers who have contributed their own warplanes to the fight against the extremists.
It is worth pointing out that none of President Bashar Assad’s forces were even touched in these strikes. President Assad being the man behind the Syrian civil war that has taken the lives of over 190,000 people since March 2011. This ISIS conflict only adds to the already complex situation with the Assad regime.
The reason I believe that the United States or Britain even got involved in this conflict is because it also threatened the nation security of their nations. ISIS has proven to be like a cancer, it grows quickly and attacks everything. The United States and Britain are two of its targets. The beheading of two American journalists and of a British aid worker showed the countries that ISIS was not afraid to attack anyone opposing their beliefs. Recently the extremists were foiled in a plan to bomb the New York subway. With such threats against the nations own people, Barrack Obama had no choice but to sanction actions to help stop them.
If it wasn’t for the very publicizes actions of ISIS, including the beheading of American journalist that created immense public outcry with American citizens, would the US military be currently conducting air raids? I think not. The United States has on many occasions, has idly sat aside while horrible wars have taken place on foreign soil because they had no national interest with the conflict. With foreign military action, it is often hard to gain the support of the nation when it comes to placing ground troops. This is probably why none of Assad’s army was targeted. As history shows, you can never crush an entire extremist group with air strike alone. Ground troops are required too. By the U.S. delivering some crippling blows to the faction’s revenue and army personnel, it allows Assad’s army a chance to fight back and crush ISIS. As long as Assad’s interest don’t threaten America’s interests, it looks like their will be a partnership with Iraq and Syria forged through a common enemy.