0 ISIS’ successor? - أورينت نت

ISIS’ successor?

Orient Net - Al-Hayat 2016-08-20 10:28:00

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Waleed Shokair wonders in his latest article in Al-Hayat which military force on the ground in Syria and Iraq will take control of the territory occupied by ISIS after its defeat, especially in Syria.

The writer argues that the most discussed topic at the moment is who will control the ISIS-occupied areas following the organization’s collapse, mentioning the Iranian-led Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces or the US-led Kurdish separatists Peshmerga militias as possible candidates in Iraq.

However, the writer argues that it is more complicated in Syria for it could redraw the border lines, explaining that Turkey would not allow for the Kurdish Syria Democratic Forces to take control of Manbij and expand its separatist ambitions, while Iran and Russia will not allow for the Syrian opposition to take control of the ISIS-free areas which could tip the balance of power on the ground in favor of the opposition.

The writer then argues that Russian-Iranian alliance’s failure to win over Aleppo was a prelude for their Shiite militias to take over ISIS-controlled areas in the near future. He adds that if the opposition’s Aleppo victory came with Turkish-Arab support, then it was also accomplished because of US’s unwillingness for the occurrence of any border change which could be a disadvantage for Assad.

The writer explains that the US-Russian attempts to agree on joint operations against ISIS is also likely to fail since the two parties have different goals in this fight; Moscow’s ambition is to retain its freedom in continuing to hit the opposition fighters, as it does every day, while Washington hopes for these groups to play a role in getting rid of ISIS and replacing it.

The writer the argues that the problem is not confined on whether eliminating ISIS will get rid of the Iranian and Russian equation of either Assad or ISIS, because eliminating ISIS will end Assad’s validity. 

However, the writer explains that the Arab coalition battling ISIS regionally will not stop at Syria’s and Iraq’s borders and could reignite Arab unity.

The writer concludes by asking: “Is this the reason why Hassan Nasrallah recently asked ISIS for a cessation of hostilities as a prelude for a possible reconciliation and settlement with it?”