The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has changed into a global threat and blackmails the entire world. The civil unrest and political tensions in Iraq and Syria paved the ground for the emergence of ISIL and left them a free room for practicing their radical ideology. The violence and bloodshed caused by ISIL group outraged the public conscience and spread a sense of fear around the globe. The group spilt the blood of people, including women and children, on the grounds of their race, color and creed and sought to stoke sectarian violence.
Yazidi women fell victim to the radical mindsets of ISIL fighters and their rights and dignity were trampled upon, on the basis of their racial and religious backgrounds. Moreover, humanitarian law was violated in the worst possible way as women were raped, children were killed and detainees and the wounded were tortured painfully. Within the last year (2016), the ISIL fighters inflicted heavy casualties upon Syrian and Iraqi nations. In a nutshell, this group capitalized on political turmoil and took control of large swathes of Syria and Iraq, where it proclaimed the creation of a “caliphate” in June 2014. Its many foreign fighters are involved in a “war within a war” in Syria. From the declaration of the caliphate until early 2016, some 90 terrorist attacks were either carried out or inspired by ISIL in 21 countries around the globe, from California to Sydney, that left large casualties behind.
Ten months after vowing to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the organization, the US President Barack Obama ruefully acknowledged that ISIL “has been particularly effective at reaching out to and recruiting vulnerable people around the world including here in the United States, and they are targeting Muslim communities around the world.” He added, “Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas, a more attractive and more compelling vision.”
Sustaining large casualties under Russia’s heavy attacks, it was believed that the ISIL would be rooted out and the world would heave a sigh of relief in 2017. However, the deadly attack at Istanbul’s Reina club during New Year’s celebrations, which left 39 dead and 70 wounded, shattered the public hope for a peaceful year. Of the 21 dead identified so far, 15 were foreigners. Nationals of Saudi Arabia, India, Morocco, Israel, Lebanon, Belgium and Libya were among those killed. The bloodiest attacks that Turkey endured in 2016 were the work of ISIL or outlawed Kurdish fighters.
Moreover, the ISIL fighters will continue their militancy and suicide bombings in Iraq. The recapture of Mosul would probably spell the end for the group’s self-styled caliphate in it areas seized in 2014, but ISIL would still be capable of fighting a guerrilla-style insurgency in Iraq, and plotting or inspiring attacks on the West.
To one’s unmitigated chagrin, the start of 2017 with the blood of innocent people reveals the tragic fact that terrorism and militancy will continue unabated. Additionally, the deadly truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market, which was called “act of terrorism” by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, unfolds the same story. Hence, the ISIL fighters will spew forth their venom wherever possible to shed the blood of mankind indiscriminately, be it men, women or children.
The ISIL fighters played a highly destructive role in 2016 and gained foothold in some Islamic countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. The formation of ISIL-K near the Afghan-Pak border was believed to deteriorate the security situation. The ISIL’s loyalists sought to trigger a sense of sectarianism among Afghan nation through abducting and killing members of the ethnic minority group. Of late, reports say that the ISIL group is still a serious threat to the country and is able to continue their insurgency. Overall, the ISIL group has been undermined, including in Afghanistan, and sustained large casualties; however, they still try to recruit new soldiers so as to survive.
It is really disappointing to see that ISIL has involved the world into a protracted war and challenged many countries although there has not long passed from its formation. Radicalization is on the rise and terrorist networks breed fear and hatred and violate the rights and dignity of individuals around the world, despite democratic discourses and human rights organizations. There is much to be done by the world to dismantle the terrorist networks and destroy their sanctuaries.
It is hoped that the international community will take effective steps in combating terrorism so as to alleviate the pains and sufferings of mankind and put an end to indescribable violence and bloodshed. Since terrorist networks, mainly the ISIL group, are global threats, a universal campaign is needed to be launched with bona fide intention of rooting them out. It is believed that if financial and political supports, which are given to the ISIL group mysteriously, be cut off, it will no more resist operating in such an organized way or under a central headquarter.