- Two years ago the Islamic State’s blitz assault across a swath of land as big as the United Kingdom led to the establishment of the self-proclaimed Caliphate and fragmented both Syria and Iraq.
- Today, the American-led and the Russian-led coalitions succeeded to contain the advance of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq because of several factors:
- Attrition: Since August 2014, when the U.S.-led coalition initiated its air campaign against the IS, the coalition has succeeded in eliminating thousands of Islamic fighters, but more important, it has struck and shaken the command and control structure of the IS.
- Manpower: Countries from where IS volunteers have been recruited have adopted new rules of conduct and restricted the flow of volunteers to the IS. Aware that most of the fighters would come back to their native countries and become dormant members of IS agent cells, these countries now closely monitor Salafist organizations.
- Firepower inferiority: Unwilling to put “boots on the ground,” the U.S. and Russians chose to crush IS forces as well as rebels from the air, targeting their equipment, logistics, leaders, and military formations.
- Diminishing financial support: When IS captured Mosul, it looted Mosul’s central bank, absconding with $500 million. In the last year, U.S. aircraft unleashed a new and effective financial measure: blowing up the coffers of the Islamic State.
Click here to read the full article.
Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.