Features

The truth about Islamic State: it's in crisis

Isis is losing territory. Recruits are deserting. But the hardcore fanatics will never surrender

9 January 2016

9:00 AM

9 January 2016

9:00 AM

The latest video from Isis introduces a new British executioner, a successor to ‘Jihadi John’, and it is a classic of the genre: bombastic, pompous, ridiculous yet terrifying. ‘O slave of the White House, O mule of the Jews,’ says a man in a ski mask, addressing David Cameron, ‘how strange it is that the leader of a small island threatens us with a handful of planes. Only an imbecile would dare to wage war against a land where the law of Allah reigns supreme.’ He has a cold, arrogant look in his eyes and brandishes a pistol held sideways, aping American ‘gangsta style’. Kneeling before him are five men in orange jumpsuits identified as ‘British spies’. In fact they may just be Syrian journalists whose ‘crime’ was simply trying to do honest reporting about the so-called Islamic State. I have a sickening feeling that one of them supplied pictures I used in a piece for the BBC when I was on the Syrian border last year. Of course, the men are killed in the video.

We have become wearily used to such brutal ‘propaganda by deed’. Isis’s new year message to Britain is much the same as it was last year: Be afraid! We are coming for you! It is still chilling. But Isis is not the force it was 12 months ago, and its video nastiness seems now more a sign of weakness than strength. The group has suffered a string of defeats in recent months. The tally so far includes the town of Kobani in northern Syria; Sinjar, in Iraq, which fell to the Kurds in November; and Ramadi, taken back by the Iraqi army two weeks ago. Fighters who promised to love death as we much as we love life appear to be losing their nerve. In Sinjar, there are reports that two ‘brigades’ of fighters deserted. In Ramadi, there was no bitter struggle to the last suicide vest. Instead, Isis melted away, leaving behind booby traps and car bombs to slow the Iraqi advance. So far, US officials claim, American bombs have killed 20,000 Isis jihadis.

A friend of mine, a diplomat, has developed sources within the group and he describes a very different Isis from the one we see in their propaganda videos: ‘Morale is plummeting within Isis, especially among foreign fighters,’ he says. ‘Many European foreign fighters in particular are packing it in. Many want to defect. Whole units have just gone away in Iraq… the Islamic State is in crisis.’ There was a struggle within the Isis leadership between hawks and doves, the diplomat said, with the hardliners gaining the upper hand. But they were frustrated at being unable to mount big, shock attacks as they did in 2014 — because of western bombing. ‘Inherent Resolve [the US-led campaign against Isis] is much more effective than it is given credit for… the further expansion of Isis has been stopped.’

The leadership is still striving to attract new recruits to ‘God’s Kingdom on Earth’. A video in English and French shows an Isis loyalist taking his three small daughters to the shops — all well-stocked — and then to a fairground. ‘Brothers and sisters, come to caliphate,’ says the narrator, making a special appeal for engineers, doctors and nurses.

Some do find they like life under the caliphate. A British recruit to Isis described the attraction to me once. ‘It’s a really good feeling. You can go around without anybody trying to harass you [for being a Muslim],’ he said. ‘I don’t miss a thing about Britain. Here, I can drive, I don’t need a licence. If I want to watch TV, I don’t need a licence for that either. I can walk around with a Kalashnikov, with an RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] if I want to. It’s total freedom, thanks be to God. It’s like I’m flying.’

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But as my diplomat friend says, many others have become disillusioned. Last year I met an activist called Abu Ibrahim who runs a network that gets people out of Isis territory. ‘Most of those who go to the caliphate are true Muslims,’ he told me. ‘They are shocked when they get there and see what things are really like. It is horrible — for them it is either flee or commit suicide.’ He estimated that 40 per cent of foreign fighters wanted to leave. But desertion involves a terrifying risk. In one six-month period last year, 400 fighters were executed for disloyalty, according to his own source inside Isis. He managed to take out a handful before they were killed, including three Britons: two men and a woman.

Abu Ibrahim showed me a photocopy of a French passport belonging to a woman in a hijab. He had smuggled her out, too. She had gone to Syria to join the jihad but learned — along with other women — that her duty would simply be to bear the next generation of jihadis. She was promptly married off. When her new husband — another French citizen — was executed for refusing to obey orders, she was put into a prison for women, all foreigners, all widows of executed men or wives of men held in Isis dungeons. There were some 300 women in the prison, she remembered. They were watched all the time. Two people were executed for trying to smuggle in mobile phones for them. The only way out permitted was by marriage, though she was eventually rescued by Abu Ibrahim’s network.

Her husband had been killed for refusing to join the bitter side-war against the Islamic State’s rival, the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s loyalists in Syria. Many others have been killed for the same reason. They had joined Isis to kill the unbelievers of the Syrian regime, not other Muslims classed by the leadership as sinners. This is a real weakness for Isis: they are locked in a continual struggle for members with Nusra and other Salafi-jihadist groups in Syria. Fighters defect to Isis and then defect back again. Often, whole units and their commanders change sides in this way. Isis is not a monolith but a coalition. That coalition includes criminal gangs and groups of tribal fighters whose sheikhs have pledged loyalty to the caliphate. I watched the Kurds battle Isis for possession of one town in eastern Iraq. Kurdish intelligence said they were facing a force of about 800. That consisted of around 650 locals and some 150 outsiders, Isis shock troops led by a commander who brought with him a bag of cash for the sheikh and promises to protect the tribe against all enemies.

When Isis looked unstoppable 18 months ago, the criminal gangs and the Sunni tribal leaders all wanted to sign up with a winner. Now some at least are looking for the next ‘strong horse’. If Isis is driven away from the Syrian town of Aleppo — their next predicted defeat — it will be because of this phenomenon of groups changing sides. The collapse there could be quite rapid. After that, if Ramadi really has taught the Iraqi army how to do street fighting, the next town to fall could be Fallujah. That might take a bit more time, but to the optimists it all seems as if Isis is being marched towards inexorable defeat.

It is too soon, though, to say that the caliphate is done for. Can it really be correct, for instance, that 20,000 Isis fighters have been killed by American bombs? The CIA always estimated that Isis could put 30,000 fighters in the field. On US figures, then, Isis has suffered a rate of attrition of two thirds. And since the CIA estimate has not varied, they have supposedly been able to replace two thirds of their number with new recruits. That is unlikely. Isis probably had more fighters than the CIA thought; the casualties are probably less than US officials are claiming and, crucially, they continue to attract new recruits, alienated young men and women who want to fight for a cause and live the life set out by God to Mohammed.

The bombing, too, is sometimes counterproductive. Isis are not an organised army based in large barracks easy to spot from 10,000 feet up. They are a ragtag militia living and moving among the population. However careful the targeting, there have been civilian casualties — and Isis makes the most of those for propaganda purposes. In the worst recent incident, last month, activists say that some 30 civilians — half of them women and children — died in an airstrike on the village of Al Khan in Syria. A year ago, a missile hit the Isis prison in the town of Al Bab. It probably looked like a barracks from the air, with armed men coming and going. But civil defence volunteers in Al Bab say they pulled 90 bodies from the rubble, most of them — since this was a prison — people who had been enemies of Isis. The Sunni Arabs who have to be won over in the fight against Isis are understandably angry about the bombing.

Abu Ibrahim — the activist smuggling people out of Isis territory — told me the war would never be won from the air, nor with the US-led coalition’s existing allies on the ground. ‘How many airstrikes have they carried out? 1,000? 2,000? 3,000? (The Pentagon says it is actually 9,400.) If a quarter of that effort was used for the ground battle, Isis would have already been crushed.’ The problem, he said, was that most of the victories against Isis have been by the Kurdish militias taking back Kurdish territory, where there was no Sunni Arab population that Isis could enlist to mount a defence. In Syria, outside the Kurdish areas, there are really no significant armed groups the Americans can count on as allies. That is what led the former US Army general and CIA director David Petraeus to make the remarkable suggestion of an alliance with ‘moderate’ members of the Nusra Front: that is, an American alliance with al-Qaeda.

In Iraq, it is true, the government has taken back Ramadi, and before that Baji and Tikrit. But the Iraqi army is as much a business as a military force. Many of its officers are there to enrich themselves, happy to leave the fighting to Shia militias (paid for and directed by Iran). It is far from certain whether the Iraqi army would be capable of taking back Mosul, a city of a million and a half, well defended with tonnes of weaponry captured by Isis when government forces fled in 2014. The real problem in Mosul, and elsewhere, is that many Sunni Arabs quite like being ruled by Isis. Or at least they prefer Isis to what they fear would be murder and pillage by Shia death squads sent by a government in Baghdad they still think of as sectarian.

Victory over Isis depends, as it always did, on winning over ordinary Sunnis. It is a political problem as much as a military one. But if Sunnis ruled by Isis can be persuaded to abandon the caliphate, taking with them the ‘fair-weather jihadis’, the hardest part of the battle would still be to come. The die-hard loyalists would be left, including many British jihadis. One British official who deals with this issue compared the core of Isis to the SS in Nazi Germany: fanatics who would never give up. These are people who believe literally that they are about to fight the final battle, ordained by prophecy and scripture, marking the End of Days. (It will be fought against the West and its allies and will take place in Syria.)

The death throes of the caliphate will therefore take time. During this period, as Isis has warned, the West can expect more attacks. At the end of the ‘new Jihadi John’ video released this week, a cherubic little boy, speaking with a British accent, promises to bring the jihad back to the UK: ‘We will kill the kuffar [infidels] over there.’ Hundreds of British Muslims have joined Isis. If or when the caliphate is smashed to pieces, some of them will be coming home.

Paul Wood is a BBC Middle East correspondent and has reported from Libya, Syria and Iraq.

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Show comments
  • Patrick

    we were told long ago that al Qaeda was on its deathbed, the Taliban were about to be finished off once and for all. Now Isis is soon to be gone. Unfortunately for the people of the world, another group will rise (or the older groups will gain more power) as the main reason for these groups will still be here, the Koran, the Hadiths and the example of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

    • Mary Ann

      It’s about time they grew up and realised that the world has moved on in the last thousand years, we are all human, mind you, reading some of the comments on speccy pages which are full of hate makes me wonder.

      • Patrick

        Who should grow up? The ‘Islamists’ or people saying they are defeated. The world for many people has not moved on, it is a continuation of laws and culture laid done forever in the Koran. A trip to Syria to explain how the “world has moved on” and to “grow up”, could be a real eyeopener for you (best to get a one way ticket as i suspect the return would maybe be wasted) Good Luck, send a postcard/email on how it went.

      • JohnJ

        You are full of hate – disguised as concern and understanding.
        You are the nurse Ratched of the intellect. Read about Islam, go to a mosque and ask the Imams. Your ignorance is an insult to these pages.

      • Icebow

        Daesh jihadists might be said to have forfeited human status by their behaviour. They are Orcs, fit for nothing but summary elimination. No prisoners! No prisoners!

      • Cyril Sneer

        1.8bn in general have not moved on.

        Having just watched a video from Guinea where 4 men were pulled out of jail and brutally stoned to death by a rabid mob then I’d say the world hasn’t moved on, it’s still the same brutal mess it has always been.

        • Maureen Fisher

          The ones who are not Muslims are very glad to be here. I have met in an NHS hospital in the last few weeks, a Syrian Catholic and an Iranian secularist both of whom sought refuge in the UK.

  • Rik

    Oh joy,so now some of the “faithful” have discovered their rape and murder holidays are not all they were cracked up to be no doubt they will be returning to the UK and other EU countries for a comfy life on benefits and being fawned over by the hate preachers and the dhimmis like Cameron and May.Estimates say 350 have already returned,why aren’t they ALL in jail for treason!!

    • Mary Ann

      Have they actually committed Treason? If they joined before Daesh was made illegal in Britain then they were just mercenaries and of course once you have joined there is a very real risk of being killed if they choose to leave. Risk leaving or going to prison, ummm, what a choice, more fool them for having joined in the first place.

      • JohnJ

        it is NOT Daesh, you moron. It is the Islamic State. Daesh is meaningless in English.

        • Icebow

          Daesh hate being called Daesh, as is at least one reason for calling them Daesh.

          • JohnJ

            Crap – how much Arabic do you know – you moron. How do you know they hate to be called that. They don’t care, mate. They think you and the rest of the bullS**t brigade are shallow, know nothing, sympathetic, gutless, spineless, superficial and unmanly. I have to agree – because you are. IS, because they don’t give a f**k about your pathetic words – they are with Allah. You are something they walk over. What happened in Germany over new year is a classic. There is no way the Muslims would allow that to happen to Muslim women. But you modern men are less than pathetic as you let the women be raped.
            A word – means ZERO

          • Icebow

            I’m not quite what I would tend to call ‘modern’. You would seem to have issues.
            ‘Oh no, not issues…’.

          • JohnJ

            Yep I got issue with you and the rest of the idiotic faux intellectuals who can write without thinking. You have no experience of Islam. ‘Daesh’ you idiot – go a meet a few Takfiri and ask them.
            The Germany cover up of new year showed me the real danger of moronic thinking. It pushed me over the edge. I am no longer tolerant of idiots on Islam. Go read, find out, ask or shut up.

          • Icebow

            Transferring to troll/ignore file, nutter section.

          • JohnJ

            So that’s your considered answer. Nice to see you believe in discussion – go on ask a Takfiri ( or don’t you know what that is?). And that attitude is why ISIS will walk all over you and your women friends.

          • Desperate Dan’s Porridge

            Well you certainly don’t believe in discussion. Grossly insulting and raving inarticulacy seems to be your style.

          • JohnJ

            OK DDP, give me one piece of proof that Islamic State “hate” the word Daesh or even care. From them – not for some sycophantic idiot in the press or mealy mouthed politician. FROM THEM.
            I attack this moronic statement because it is dangerous. You wont because you cant – and tell me all about the Takfiri – I assume you have met them and talked about this. You can join the club of faux intellectuals with zero knowledge of Islam – read Sahih – to correct yourself. That’s my style – in war there is no suffering fools.

          • Desperate Dan’s Porridge

            I never said they did r did not. Was merely criticising your rude, egotistical and fatuous mode f communication laddie.

          • JohnJ

            Why bother?

          • 9sqn

            Nah mate, he’d find you and Mary Ann with the best seats.

          • Cyril Sneer

            “It pushed me over the edge”

            It put hate in my heart.

          • jush

            So why have these muslims killed and raped so many other MUSLIMS? They’ve killed more muslims than non-muslims. I was with you till you said that: ‘there is no way the muslims woiuld allow that to happen to Muslim women’ How can you explain the deaths of more muslims than non-muslims at the hands of muslims. This is a bitter war between muslims as well as with the rest of the world. Your statement doesn’t make any sense because orthodox muslims wouldn’t care for any women…regardless of religion

          • Cyril Sneer

            “How can you explain the deaths of more muslims than non-muslims at the hands of muslims.”

            Location. Sharing the same geographical location hence why you won’t find many Hindus being killed by Muslims in Syria.

            “This is a bitter war between muslims ”

            Yes it’s been going on for about 1,400 years. If they can’t live with each other then why would they live with anyone else?

          • JohnJ

            Jush – I despair to have to explain this yet again. Please Jush do some research. The Islamic State do not regard the people they kill as Muslims. They are Takfiri. Some ( the Shia) they don’t even regard as people – actually less than dogs. Look it up, read their magazine. In any other subject Jush you would read the material. But for some God knows what reason when it comes to Islam, people, who are otherwise intelligent, just don’t. This is, and has been, the biggest scourge of the world, millions die, enslaved, countries reduced to rubble and then poverty for the last 1000 years. And you are in Jahiliyya. Start with Sahih Bukhari.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Mary likes to use Daesh as it spares her from mentioning the Islamic in Islamic State.

      • ahmed

        With all the barbarity that they have been indulging in – it goes beyond treason. I would not like o live next door to someone who was in IS. Its not a case of risk leaving – it could be run and fight another day.

      • MickC

        Legally I think you are wrong. So far as I recall, a UK citizen who commits murder anywhere on the planet has committed a crime under UK law ( a previously rare example of UK extra territoriality).

        As they presumably cannot claim they were legally participants in a war, as legally defined, therefore not traitors, they are liable to prosecution for murder, or conspiracy to murder. Evidence will, no doubt, be a problem.

        However, as we seem to manage to get evidence against, and prosecute, what are probably teenage fantasists, one imagines that wouldn’t be too difficult.

    • Cyril Sneer

      They should be shot on attempting to enter Europe.

      • Mary Ann

        Hardly the British way, I hear so many people worrying about loss of British Culture, you sound like Daesh.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Oh so we’re a civilised nation now… when it suits eh Mary, then in another debate you’ll be moaning that we’re still a racist uncivilised colonial power.

          How the left like to twist and turn to try and score moral points.

          Yes we should shoot them if they try to come back. I’m not alone in feeling like this. The world is changing Mary and it won’t be to your liking, this is a pushback to the policies your kind have supported whilst stifling any opposing view. Your world is unravelling.

      • jim

        Take a look at this article from New Statesman about Cologne’s Afro-Arab-Moslem-New Year’s Rape festivities currently being favourited and retweeted throughout the twattersphere

        http://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2016/01/how-deal-new-years-eve-sexual-assaults-cologne-and-hamburg

        The author ( who I think would qualify as a successful integrated migrant) spends most of his time regurgitating pieces from other sources doling out the usual disingenuous shock but the paragraphs he contributes himself are not about afro-arab-moslem sexcrimes but rather the usual bleating about racist host countries. ..The fact that this whiney diversion is considered to be a mature response is a sign of how much trouble we are in. Even the successful integrated migrants can’t be relied on and the native euroeunuchs are in thrall to them.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Great post. Indeed we’re in deep do do. It beggars belief that after such a heinous event anyone could read it differently.

          This shouldn’t be a surprise though – remember Rotherham etc, look how they covered that up for over 15 years! That’s white children being abused, tortured and raped by gangs of muslims and that in itself was not enough to get the authorities to start acting. The media following suit in the appeasement and muddying the waters to prevent a proper national debate.

          If the safety of our children come second to some warped PC sickness then we should be burning down the houses of Parliament right now.

          We are in really deep sh t.

          • jim

            Here is a jaw dropping tweet from a journalist (James Creedon France24 ) apparently tired of my asking why his channel aren’t covering the story

            James Creedon ‏@JamesCreedonF24 2h hours ago

            @jimhassett2 @markowenf24 gosh Jim you’ve really got a bee in your bonnet about this one. I suggest a cup of tea and a long bath.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Unbelievable. It’s so obvious what they’re doing, they know this is simply not ethical, it’s almost like they’ve been influenced, brainwashed, bought, I don’t know. He couldn’t even provide you with an explanation why they will not cover a big story that… oh that the public might want to be aware of…. things just go from bad to insane.

          • Maureen Fisher

            I wonder how that would have gone down if he had tweeted that to a woman.

          • jim

            I’m currently engaged in a barely civil exchange of tweets with him. Tweet him and ask him that.

        • Maureen Fisher

          Most of that piece was all about him although at least he didn’t try to make the pitiful excuses for r@pe we find in the pages of the Guardian.

        • Richard_Stanier

          Thanks for linking in this article. It was, as you say, a very illuminating insight into a peculiar world view. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to check out his poetry.

  • SunnyD

    I must say, Mr Wood seems to have his finger very much on the pulse. And when you take into account he has yet to write the article (published on 9 January?), I must applaud his prescience. However, I echo the fears of many a commentator on these message boards – that we may already have the Trojan horse parked within our city walls. So, is morale really plummeting within Daesh? Or are we being spun another line (one that actually appears to affirm that the incessant bombings have had the desired effect)?

    • Cyril Sneer

      Morale is plummeting, this is accurate. If you go on the live media sites, youtube and Liveleak there are a lot of new videos showing an abundance of dead ISIS fighters and various advances made by the SAA. We used to get a lot of ISIS videos showing their success but they seem few and far between now. Lots of videos of lined up ISIS corpses to be found.

      Of course progress on the ground is still slow, Syria was never a war for sweeping advances but my impression is that yes they are on the run now but how long it will take to defeat them, who knows.

      • SunnyD

        Thanks C – I always read your posts with keen interest and am somewhat encouraged by what you’ve just said. I would take it then, that Russia and Iran would like to keep Assad in power? My question on the back of this (if what I read is correct and Assad is Alawite, which I believe leans towards the Shia sect?) would be: how will this affect the Shia / Sunni dynamic in the ME?
        And finally, how worried should Joe Public be about the rumoured “fifth column” ? And what measures do you feel should be taken to alleviate any fears? Privately, I’ve entertained the thought of having secret cabals of armed personnel (plain clothes) – perhaps retired ex-special forces, people who blend in, going about their normal daily business – yet armed to the teeth and ready to pounce/react at a moment’s notice should something happen, (e.g. a Paris/Tunisia-style atrocity). I speak from a personal experience I had back in my younger (wilder days), whilst at an airport: I was shocked by the sudden appearance of numerous law officials asking what my cohorts and I were doing there. One moment, it was a crowded airport terminal – holidaymakers all around – the next: everybody turned into a police officer with a badge. It was an eye-opener.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Thank you. I do concentrate on Syria on these forums because what the US and her Sunni allies have done has been contemptible and this really makes me angry.

          Yes Russia and Iran would like Assad to remain. Russia I think is open to consider a democratic process for Syria once all the rebel groups have been defeated. Putin is right in saying we can’t have any sort of democratic or reconciliation process until the jihadist groups are driven from Syria. Other non jihadist rebel groups can be open for negotiation.

          Assad is Alawite, which is a shia offshoot. But the Syrian government and SAA comprises of people from all backgrounds including Sunnis. So it’s not really a true reflection to say the Syrian war is sectarian – it is and isn’t!

          To prevent further attacks on home soil we need to stop hosting the attackers in our country. No return for jihadists. I don’t have the answers for here but the security forces seemed to be massively overstretched now. The only reason why we haven’t had more atrocities is because of the good work of the security forces, but we have to rely on them to be on the ball every time. Prevention is better than cure and all that.

      • Zanderz

        The Taliban are back in Afghan. What ever one does to root out Islam, it’s not going away. Even if the US bomb the place to bits, it’ll crawl under a rock and come out again when the weather clears.

        Bring on Dabiq I say.

  • CharleyFarleyFive

    Is anyone able to offer a valid explanation as to why we allow those who are known to have left Britain to join Daesh to then return to this country?

    • Cyril Sneer

      Because Cameron is a jelly fish.

      • bionde

        That is insulting to jellyfish. What did jellyfish ever do to destroy your country?

        • Cyril Sneer

          Please accept my apologies I was only referring to the fact that he has no ‘backbone’. 😉

          • bionde

            An amoeba would be a better analogy. An amoeba has the backbone of Cameron and the intelligence of an Islamist.

    • Mary Ann

      In the hope that they tell other disgruntled Muslims how awful it was and dissuade them from joining, after all, if they thought Daesh was good they wouldn’t be coming back. Just as Trump is good for recruitment to Daesh, the returnees are bad.

      • Cyril Sneer

        There is not hope of that whatsoever. No they will return brutalised with PTSD and they’ll carry out atrocities here.

      • JohnJ

        You have no idea, go an marry a Muslim – preferably from North Africa – I recommend Egypt, Asyut is good for guys. Then let us know your opinion. You are not just ignorant – you are dangerous – because you just don’t know. “Daesh” – you fool – find out what a muzdah is first – They are the “Islamic State”. They are Muslims to their bootstraps and the pure Muslims. They represent the ideal state of Sunni Islam – but you don’t know that because you are a fool. The modern pathetic Chamberlain. As it moves towards a disaster, killing rapes, bombings of innocents, remember everything you have written.

      • 9sqn

        Your usual idiotic apology for jihadi muslims. Just hope its not you or your family walking through town when one of these re-converted flag-wavers for Western democracy decides to blow up a shopping centre.

      • Pioneer

        Why do you say Trump is good for ISIS recruitment?

        Are you just echoing the lies of the leftist press?

        Al Shabab ( not ISIS ) have featured Trump in one of their videos – they have also featured the creatures Obama and Cameron.

  • Cyril Sneer

    “But they were frustrated at being unable to mount big, shock attacks as they did in 2014 — because of western bombing”

    Is it really western bombing? Prior to the Russian intervention the airstrikes (aside from Kobane) seemed to have little impact on the ISIS advance. Two months since Russia intervened in co-ordination with the SAA and Iranian forces ISIS are now crumbling.

    • WFB56

      That might be plausible if most of the Russian effort was directed at ISIS but it wasn’t.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Then you need to do some actual research and enlighten yourself.

        US propaganda mate.

        You need to understand why Assad initially directed the airstrikes at Nusra, FSA, Al Sham near the Alawite heartland before turning their attention to ISIS in the North East. You need to understand the ground campaign.

        • WFB56

          And you need to read the article you choose to comment on:

          “The group has suffered a string of defeats in recent months. The tally so far includes the town of Kobani in northern Syria; Sinjar, in Iraq, which fell to the Kurds in November; and Ramadi, taken back by the Iraqi army two weeks ago.”

          Not victories by the Russian army or air force.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Of those locations you mentioned only Kobane is in Syria, Northern Syria.

            Russia is not bombing in Iraq, has no authority.

            The Kurds in Syria are in the north – which ground forces do you support to attack jihadist factions in the west, central and southern parts of the country? And who is supporting them? Russia.

          • Cyril Sneer

            What I’m saying is that US airstrikes alone were not the cause of the ISIS retreat, they were in Iraq but not in Syria.

            And again, the big unanswered question is why isn’t the US bombing Nusra and Al Sham both pledged allegiance to AQ?

            Have we stopped bombing AQ now? The war on terror is over? These are the same guys we attacked for the past decade now no more? come on man, think about it.

          • Cyril Sneer

            And please answer my question, a very pertinent one that the MSM have consistently failed to ask – why is the US not bombing AQ in Syria?

          • WFB56

            “Russia …. has no authority”. When did Russia ever seek or receive authority for its actions?

            The war is against ISIS and not based on some arbitrary national borders which they don’t recognise.

          • Cyril Sneer

            “”Russia …. has no authority”. When did Russia ever seek or receive authority for its actions?”

            It got just that in Syria – authority from the Syrian government. Does the US have that same invite from the Syrian government?

            “The war is against ISIS and not based on some arbitrary national borders which they don’t recognise.”

            Agreed but the nations bombing them do have borders that they need to recognise and abide by. Turkey seems to ignore this though – they have regularly transgressed onto Syrian territory to attack the Kurds. I note how the US has nothing to say about this regular infringement of Syrian territory by Turkish armed forces.

          • MickC

            Russia does not have an army there, and air forces cannot take ground.

  • johnb1945

    The real problem here are the ideas to central to Orthodox Islam, whether Sunni or Shia. Following the Sunnah, the example of Muhammed, as set out in the Sira, Hadith and Qur’an.

    These ideas have currency,and getting rid of ISIS might chip away at that but it won’t destroy it altogether.

  • jim

    The Truth About Europe:It’s In Crisis.
    The New Years Afro-Arab-Moslem Rape Celebrations,the subsequent cover up and the shameful euroeunuch response are ample proof of that.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Yep the MSM didn’t report on it until it was all over social media and impossible to ignore.

      The Guardian took 5 days to report it, strangely their article not open for comments. You would’ve thought rabid misogyny would be right up their street…..

      • SunnyD

        And the topping on the cake was the omission of both the I and the M words from the “News”night report on it last night….grrrrrrrr!!!

        • Cyril Sneer

          Indeed, this is what it’s like now. They try to cover it all up… they know what’s coming, they know this isn’t going to go away but they will try in all ways possible to keep the lid on this.

          • The_Missing_Think

            It’s called a conspiracy.

            And it’s no longer, merely whacky theory.

            Welcome aboard everyone, I told you so, at least a thousand times or so.

            And thanks for sneering and snubbing, your real, coalmine canaries.

          • Cyril Sneer

            In the sorta distant past I thought Alex Jone, Icke etc were nutters. They are still nutters but they were right about a lot of things.

            A lot of what the conspiracy theorists have been saying all this time rings true.

          • Maureen Fisher

            Daniel Pipes has been singing for over 20 years. Similarly the scholar B’at Yeor, dismissed as a loony by the hard left.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Bastiat#Views Progressive Andrew ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    It is an admitted fact that the USA wants ISIS to endure: So, ISIS needs a bailout! The question then becomes: how will the USA achieve that? Directly, or leaning through proxies such as USA/ISIS allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia, or through another method?

  • jim

    No Speccie article yet on Cologne’s Afro-Arab-Moslem New Years Rape Celebrations or the subsequent cover up and our anemic euroeunuch response?

    • 9sqn

      Yes, I’ve been looking for that as well. Time for the Speccie to demonstrate it’s independence from the mass media cover-up.

      • Johnnydub

        I noted with a wry smile there are zero articles on Comment is Free about it as well.

        I’m sure Jessica Valenti will be along soon to tell us that knitting is a victory for the patriarchy or something…

        • Maureen Fisher

          Maybe she should be told she has a “bee in her bonnet and needs a cup of tea.”

      • Zanderz

        DM covered this yesterday as it’s leader.

        • 9sqn

          Ok I stand corrected. Thank you. But my point has some validity .. why just the DM? And why 5 days after it happened. This incident is of huge significance considering the mass immigration of Muslims to Europe yet you have to actively search for any real coverage.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Because they wanted to cover it up but social media tends to spoil their party.

          • 9sqn

            Just saw on Channel 4 news, that bastion of free (PC) speech, an interview with a very kindly looking muslim refugee helping fellow refugees with their rail travel. When asked what he thinks of the ‘goings on’ in Cologne on NY eve, he replied it wasn’t the fault of the refugees, rather it was the fault of German law which makes it impossible for refugees to work for one year and as a result it is ‘very easy’ to get into crime. His view of crime clearly including and excusing mass sexual abuse and rape. This shows quite comprehensively the different attitude to women, crime and western culture from muslim men. Oh, and in true to form Channel 4, the ‘M’ word was not mentioned once. In C4’s credit, they did draw a parallel with ‘Rotherham’ by ‘men of Pakistani’ origin. But again, no M word.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Thanks for the info, it beggars belief. It’s insane what is going on and the parasites they’re letting in.

          • Zanderz

            These events are happening all the time. Sweden, Germany, UK, anywhere where groups of islamic cultured men gather. The issue is that it’s the ‘new normal’ and from the elite’s perspective a minor issue considering the benefits globalisation brings to them.

            My wife grew up in Luton 30 years ago, so was aware then of muslim men preying on white girls – it was just something she grew up with.

            All dreadfully sad. I really do mourn for this country.

          • JohnJ

            I believe this is the first time in the history of the world that the men in a culture or tribe have not protected their women. The European man is so ethically and physically emaciated that they have given their women as prizes to the hoards.

        • Cyril Sneer

          So that’s 6 days after the event.

      • jim

        Check this out: Here is a jaw dropping tweet from a journalist (James Creedon France24 ) apparently tired of my asking why his channel aren’t covering the story

        James Creedon ‏@JamesCreedonF24 2h hours ago

        @jimhassett2 @markowenf24 gosh Jim you’ve really got a bee in your bonnet about this one. I suggest a cup of tea and a long bath.

    • D J

      Ironic that it was the derided online Breitbart London that reported this first in the English language. The established press should be truly ashamed. At least ZDF has issued an apology in Germany.

      • jim

        Here is a jaw dropping tweet from a journalist (James Creedon France24 ) apparently tired of my asking why his channel aren’t covering the story

        James Creedon ‏@JamesCreedonF24 2h hours ago

        @jimhassett2 @markowenf24 gosh Jim you’ve really got a bee in your bonnet about this one. I suggest a cup of tea and a long bath.

  • JohnJ

    Oh please yet another reporter with NO experiences of Islam “Morale is plummeting within Isis” so what? So Wood has friends! ISIS is not the issue, Islam is the issue. The Caliphate is the issue. Wood you are pathetic, nay, you are dangerous in your ignorance of fundamental Islam. Look at the history if Islam, as if a few battles matter. Look at 1979 in Mecca – they fought to the last – yes the LAST man. Islam is every where, recruits are everywhere, support is everywhere. A few losses in Iraq/Syria mean nothing – Just like you. Ahhh….. I despair at your ignorance and hubris to offer an opinion that is about the lives of my children.

    • al_frick

      I don’t question that Islam is the issue. However, the Japanese were an enemy we thought would fight to the last man also. Now they make manga and reliable, if a little staid, cars.

      • JohnJ

        Thanks – the Japanese were a recognisable race not a religion(cult) you can covert to in a simple sentence. They did not infect every level of society. Check out how many Sunni Muslims your country has in the police and all through civil service and military. They are everywhere. And your politicians are proud of it. ALL of them, yes – ALL of them believe in the Caliphate. It is a time bomb – Just ask the Hindu and Sikh Indians. When push cam to shove, their Muslim neighbors gave them or attacked them. 1400 years our enemy – nothing has changed except the rot of the West.

        • Zanderz

          I think we’re all aware in the UK that ‘British Muslims’ are generally muslims first, then British. They’ve already chosen their side, and are just waiting for the time to enact their religious duty.

  • http://my.telegraph.co.uk/voteregime/ The Prez

    This article is all over the place. “The American bombing’s been super-effective, much better than people think. But they probably haven’t killed anything like the number they say they have and actually they keep missing and hitting civilians, which only annoys our other allies”

    Make up your mind!

    • Hugh Jeego

      It can be effective without killing lots of people. I’m not saying that it HAS been, but that it is possible for a bombing campaign to seriously impact the ability of an army to operate, without killing vast numbers of its fighters.

  • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

    As usual, under American influence, we have been backing the WRONG SIDE. We deposed Saddam Hussein and liberated Iraq….. No we didn’t; we destroyed a secular government and liberated sectarian extremism and Islamic madness. We encouraged the ‘wonderful’ Arab Spring, toppling secular dictators and turning most of North Africa into a gaggle of failed states over-run by fanatic militias and psychopathic murderers. Is Libya better now than when the admittedly nutty Quadaffi ruled? I think not – it is decidedly vastly worse, far more dangerous and unstable and infinitely worse for the average Libyan man and woman and for us. Assad is no kitten, but under his government before the revolt, people of different faiths could co-exist. If he falls, there will be a total blood bath as non Sunnie minorities are murdered and enslaved.

    WILL WE EVER LEARN? The mantra that democracy is best is only true where civilised, modern minded and civil populations exist. It does not hold good in these barbarous regions of the planet where people regard murdering non-believing neighbours as a religious duty.

    I hate to say it, but Putin is right to insist that we must preserve and support the government of Syria. Assad has simply been fighting barbarous, violent gangs who will bring complete chaos to the land. How would Her Majesty’s Government react to violent insurrection and making war on the state? Does anyone really think they would not resort to lethal force in an instant?

    • JSC

      We might have have toppled Saddam, but it wasn’t set in stone that Iraq would inevitably descend in to barbarity the way it has. I mean, a two seconds glance might have shown that it was highly likely, but it was not absolutely inevitable and the citizens of Iraq are as much to blame for it as we are, if not more so. All those car bombs aren’t setting themselves.

      • sebastian2

        You make a good point. That said, a former Iraqi colleague of mine warned that now the big devil was gone, the little devils would prosper.
        It all goes to show, I’m afraid, that the mohammedan Middle East barely, or never, does democracy. Oil and turmoil.

        • Maureen Fisher

          Very true. And if Israel were ever to be handed over to Muslims it would descend quickly into the same bloodbath over territory as the rest of the Middle East.

    • AdrianM

      “WILL WE EVER LEARN? The mantra that democracy is best is only true where civilised, modern minded and civil populations exist. It does not hold good in these barbarous regions of the planet where people regard murdering non-believing neighbours as a religious duty.”

      Another true and depressing statement.

      • 9sqn

        Beautifully put.

    • Maureen Fisher

      Well said.

  • Tamerlane

    Any of them ‘coming home’ frankly should get a bullet, their crimes whilst in Syria will have been horrendous and I go with the Bishop of Baghdad: These people need to be exterminated.

    • JohnJ

      100% but after they are run dry for information. Don’t forget they claim they do it for charity – an easy question to ask is how many Shia they helped and their names. if not then down to the ‘question room’.

  • 9sqn

    A pretty rubbish article, all over the place. As for Abu Ibrahim. he is smuggling jihadis who have leant their support to Isis, into the west. He should be shot along with the men and women he ‘rescues’.

  • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

    The idea that ISIS have ever looked unstoppable is laughable. They could be annihilated within 24 hours if the will was there.

    • fredimeyer

      d.u.m.b america lost in vietnam. americans and brits have run away from afghanistan, iraq, libya and lebanon. a popular force on home territory cannot be defeated–history proves that–and to say it could be 24 hours is the height of stupidity

      • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

        No, you’re not thinking in terms of total warfare.

    • sidor

      The US administration is acting as Saudi proxy. Corrupt American politicians and media are controlled by the Saudi billions. Madam Clinton was promoting the Arab Spring – wahhabi uprising aimed at changing secular regimes for the Saudi-controlled jihadists. Fortunately, they failed in Egypt, and failing in Syria and Iraq. Libya, however, was destroyed.

      • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

        Yep!

  • Mow_the_Grass

    Good article by someone who does understand the ME arab/muslim dynamic.
    Its all about tribes/clans/families fighting a turf war under the broad heading of the shia/sunni divide.

  • Mr Marginalia

    The truth about groups fighting Islamic State: they’re just as bad.

    ISIS will die, but the problem of Islam will continue.

    • sidor

      The problem will continue until the money supply stops. No money – no problem.

      • WTF

        The problem over there will stop but the problems in the west will increase.

  • sidor

    The truth about Islamic State: It is called Saudi Arabia.

    • Cyril Sneer

      aka Saudi Barbaria

    • fredimeyer

      this is one of the stupidest comments ever. learn the history and the politics. the saudis are mortal enemies of isis and the saudis are doing more to fight against isis than britain is.

      • sidor

        Thanks for acquainting us with the Saudi’s viewpoint. I remember they also tried to persuade the public that Bin Laden and Taliban are their enemies.

        Instead of the funny KSA propaganda, let us look at real facts. The perpetrators of 9/11, and Bin Laden were Saudis. Taliban was trained in the Pakistani religious schools organised and financed by the Saudis. The Saudis were also financing the Islamic terror in Russia and the Central Asia. All the acts of Islamic terror within the last 15 years have been perpetrated by the wahhabists, and wahhabi Islam is the official ideology of KSA.

        • James Lawrence

          Very well put

      • King Kibbutz

        The current bearers of that name are just breaking it in for the real thing.

    • James Lawrence

      You’re not far off given how Saudi essentially paid for and promulgated the ideology that warped into what is now ISIS

    • zappata

      Black Daesh and White Daesh.Just a change of robe will do.

  • WTF

    ISIS maybe losing in the middle east but they are winning in the west as Islam is well rehearsed at taking over other cultures & countries by other means than force aided by the left.

    We’ve had our own submission to Islam in places like Rotherham, Tower Hamlets & Birmingham with ‘sexual slavery’ by Pakistani men, home grown Jihadists, Sharia law and we’re now seeing the rise of this in Germany due to Merkels open door policy to economic Muslim migrants from Syria. How many cities across Germany had men of north African appearance sexually attack German women on New Years eve, was it 5, 10 or more. What did the authorities say or do, the Mayor of Cologne blames the women for being too close to a bunch of perverts and the authorities in Bavaria tell parents to effective cover their daughters up burka style. Just as in Rotherham, the left in power are sweeping it under the carpet refusing to acknowledge the causes.

    Islams battle for the west is virtually over in Germany & Sweden as the authorities have given them what they want and sharia law is all but in place but the demographics will ensure Islam rules very soon. It could be that there is a backlash against this subjugation of Germany and all h*** will let loose, but if it happens, Merkel & the EU will have the blood of thousands on their hands.

    • AdrianM

      “ISIS maybe losing in the middle east but they are winning in the west as Islam is well rehearsed at taking over other cultures & countries by other means than force aided by the left.”

      This is the true battle to win.

      • WTF

        I hope you mean by us and not Islam.

        • AdrianM

          Indubitably.

      • King Kibbutz

        The front line is the maternity ward. We’re losing big style.

        • AdrianM

          I had noticed. It’s all part of the Muslim strategy to rule the world. Mosques are also part of the plan… can you guess how?

          • King Kibbutz

            Is this yet another one?

          • AdrianM

            Not quite with you?

          • King Kibbutz

            “Strategic fecundity” is a handy term

        • William Haworth

          It is a bad situation, but it’s only disastrous for us if there’s no integration. We need leaders with an idea of how to compel integration, as it’s not happening voluntarily.

          • King Kibbutz

            Sum total of your comment: ‘It’s disastrous’.

    • David Lawson

      Hence the rise of the far right.

      The left have caused this and are to blame for the far right. Had they allowed people to have a discussion about their concerns, this might not have happened.

  • colchar

    That religion is a cancer.

    • Cyril Sneer

      More one specific religion but I get your point.

    • aristophanes

      Communist atheists murdered a few million in the 20th century.
      There is a certain type that appropriates a thought system to try to legitimate their evil.

  • fredimeyer

    this argument for liberal complacency is pure evil. they have had some setbacks, perhaps the pace of expansion has slowed. but this is not a cancer which is cured, or even in remission.
    yes, like all religious manias [as we have seen with christianity] this one will eventually wane. but not for decades.
    for every inch of ground the lose in syria, they gain a western country.
    how soon before the bbc starts broadcasting the call to prayer?

  • King Kibbutz

    These 20,000 ISIS jihadis, killed by American bombs? Are they to be added to that sum of ‘millions of civilians’ so beloved of our resident trollpack?

    (Isn’t it time we had an original collective noun for trolls?)

    Anyway, thank goodness that none of these disaffected murderers will be making their way back to our streets. Oops.

  • rodger the dodger

    My opinion is that Islam is in decline. The idea has around five-six years of growth left in it before it tops out, and resumes its downtrend, started in 1683 (yes, that far back). In between then and now, lots of people will be killed, some in the West, but mostly ‘over there’.

    Islam is like a wounded, cornered animal, which makes it incredibly dangerous, still. But it cannot survive in the modern world. The phase it is now in, which was started by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in earnest in around ’48-’50, was explicitly started because they recognised Islam was in steep decline, and they wanted to revive it – to re-impose Islam in the exact same way as it was by Mohammed with his first companions and the four “Rightly Guided Caliphs”. To lift the Ummah out of ‘Jahiliyyah’. And revive it they did. But it’s only a bear market rally.

    This doesn’t mean Islam disappears; after all, there are more Christians in the world than ever, but the ‘idea’, more to the point its political power, is nowhere. I expect the same thing to happen to Islam – more muslims, yes, but the idea will have no traction politically. And that’s what’s important.

    • Gilbert White

      You may be right, looking at the young muslims all over the world, it would not take much ?

    • Maureen Fisher

      Hope you’re right.

    • David Lawson

      I agree with Douglas Murray when he had a discussion with Sam Harris on Harris’ Waking Up podcast just after the Paris attacks in November.

      Douglas stated that he thinks Islam is about to, or has started to, go through a reformation. Unlike the reformation of Christianity however, this one will occur over a much shorter period of time but during that time it’ll be incredibly bloody.

  • Rob74

    It took the US Marines nine days of some of the heaviest fighting seen since the Tet offensive to clear Fallujah. It will be interesting to see how the Iraqi army fairs at the same task.

  • Ewan

    An interesting article which I hope is right; but I still find it worrying that Isis appears to be growing in both Libya and Afghanistan at the moment.

  • justejudexultionis

    Shame that the same cannot be said of radical Islam in Europe, which is encouraged and facilitated by the general incompetence and ideological blindness of our ‘leaders’.

    • Maureen Fisher

      It’s reminiscent of the rise of f@scism – have to asterix that as discus won’t allow it for some reason.

      • Cobbett

        I’m too young to know anything about it- tell me, how was it for you?

  • Gordon Tait

    ISIS are indeed a pain. Their propaganda is ugly, their viciousness unparalleled. But they are a “T-shirt of the week” in comparison to the long-term gains of Islam. The ISIS mentality has undoubtedly spread to our precious Europe as France knows only too well. But, the real battle we have here is the inevitable fact the Islam is moving in, in droves, and going nowhere, aided by morons like Merkel. In generations to come, she, and leaders like her will be forever be known as the destroyers of Europe.

  • Baron

    For close to five years, the Islamic State had been expanding even though the one in the White House was telling everyone we’re winning, then last September the Russians came in, and voila, the thuggery’s in a crisis.

    Any connection?

    • James Lawrence

      None at all. The Russians aren’t really fighting ISIS and the success we are starting to see has only come about as the US alliance moves on to the third part of its strategy. It was meant to be this way.

      • Baron

        Brilliant, the Russians must be there to kill the civilians only, who else, and the success of the American led coalition till last September would be hard to beat what with tens of million displaced, millions killed, millions invading Europe.

        Your brilliant brain has any prediction as yo whether the ‘third part of its strategy’ will as successful as the previous two?

        If only your mother remained a virgin, James, the world’s IQ would receive a noticeable boost.

      • King Kibbutz

        You’re either bluffing or drinking.

        • James Lawrence

          To be clear the cluster that is Iraq / Syria wasn’t meant to be this was. But the currently results we’re seeing are in line with the strategy determined in Inherent Resolve. What comes next is going to be the tricky bit

      • Cobbett

        and you know this?

        • James Lawrence

          Er yes, open source material. The idea that there is no strategy against IS is a myth perpetuated by our politicians who can’t even be bothered to look at open source US DoD websites

        • James Lawrence

          Yep, all open source material that explains campaign against IS

  • Richard

    I think the suspicion of Muslims in the UK and Europe will now never go away. There will always be the idea that they might take out a knife and kill you, or bomb something. I don’t have any of the normal trust I extend to others for them. That is a legacy.

    • Brian V Hunt

      In the west no one is forced to be a Muslim. If people find this religion nauseating than they are free to leave Islam. Muslims are not a race. Islam is an ideology/theology no different than Marxism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Fascism. If you don’t believe in Islam’s (Sharia Law) tenets of misogyny, pedophilia, genocide, imperialism and Jihad than leave Islam.

      • King Kibbutz

        “Islam is an ideology/theology no different than [sic] Marxism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Fascism.”

        Just how devoid of thought and sensibility can a statement get? Every one of the belief systems listed, is essentially very different FROM the others. It’s why they are ‘other’.

        • hobspawn

          Yes indeed, probably the thickest comment I have ever read.

      • Richard

        “In the west no one is forced to be a Muslim.” Is this why people are killed when they try to leave the religion, or marry people from outside the religion?

      • David Lawson

        “If people find this religion nauseating than they are free to leave Islam”. Really? So people aren’t killed for apostasy? What an incredibly idiotic thing to say. You seem to have not read the article.

        Also to lump together Marxism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Fascism; and then go on to say that not only isn’t there any difference between them but also to say that they are on the same ideological equivalence as the form of Islam that birthed ISIL is absurd and you should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting it.

        The answer, according to you, is to just leave. Just leave. Grab your luggage, walk out of you semi destroyed building you call a home, hail a taxi to Raqqa airport and leave. Simple.

      • Mary Ann

        When a person is born to a Muslim they automatically become a Muslim and they are not allowed to give up their religion on pain of death, I call that force.

        • Cobbett

          Not in Europe…these people aren’t confined to the village of their birth…also it doesn’t matter if they’re Muslims or not, at least as the demise of Europe is concerned.

  • Gilbert White

    Great news for all the decaying corpses, created by Daesh, Paul?

  • Kasperlos

    One shouldn’t believe that a ‘caliphate’ even exists. Daesh/ISIL/ISIS/IS controls pockets of territory. The fanatics will eventually find their way to Britain to spend their cash or suck up state benefits, attending to the NHS for their war wounds, and ultimately signing on as Chelsea Pensioners with Cameron’s blessing as a move to heal misunderstandings of religious intolerance and reduce radicalisation. We’ve seen this story before. Consider the numerous retired Latin American generals sunning themselves in Miami who were part of horrendous human rights abuses.

    • Brian V Hunt

      Making joining a terrorist organization a crime punishable by life in prison. Other countries have.

  • Maureen Fisher

    It’s not like these people running off to Syria don’t know what these vile murdering scum bags do. There have been enough propaganda videos showing beheading and mass murder of civilians.

    • Mow_the_Grass

      But that is the appeal.
      They are only playing to their target market.
      The youtube videos are their advertising/marketing strategy.
      The muslim imbeciles in the west ie the three Brit schoolgirls – are drawn to this as a powerfull brand.
      Of course once many of these imbeciles (and the muslim world has many) – actually see the stark reality/bloodshed they then become a little ‘put off’ ‘ by it.
      That as well as the fact that the women are then turned into ‘bicycles’ for the caliphate.

  • Forbes2016

    This is an excellent article.

  • aristophanes

    Forgive me, but I think that you should be more cautious about the diplomat’s opinion. Diplomats have agenda. And our diplomats have not been reading ME/North African affairs very well in the last few years – vide Libya debacle.

  • aristophanes

    Perhaps the political debate requires label-victims to take possession of the label – I am an Islamophobe. I hate no one, but there is a group that I fear.

  • flydlbee

    I seem to remember articles like this about the Viet Cong.

    • JohnJ

      100%. I lived through that. Endless propaganda until the Tet offensive. Then the press couldn’t ignore it. This smacks of the US PR machine at it again.The VC are like lambs in a small field compared with this international scourge.

      • Brian V Hunt

        You are only correct if ISIL having been driven out of Syria and Iraq Turkey is willing to continue to back ISIL and allow them to use Turkish territory to attack Syria and Iraq. The only reason the Viet Cong were victorious was because they were in fact a branch of the North Vietnamese armed forces and not an independent insurgency.

        • JohnJ

          I am not too sure what I am ‘only correct’ about. But I do not see Islamic State as just a fixed territory or an army. To me that is one aspect of it. The Islamic State has members in just about every country. it is an idea, a belief shared by all who believe in the Qur’an and the Sunna. The Caliphate, to exist, needs to take Mecca. Syria and Iraq are only temporary. IS can relocate to over 40 countries where they have affiliates ranging from Southern Philippines to Libya. This article, as does the US, is identifying Islamic State with just one area of land. From what I can see IS are getting stronger and more world wide. Indonesia is just one of their fertile breeding grounds.

        • Gilbert White

          Strategically the Turkish border is the spine that supports the fragmented Caliphate?

    • King Kibbutz

      Do you really?

  • cromwell

    Yes the supreme irony atheist liberals protecting religious fanatics and misogynistic haters of democratic freedom in the name of liberalism talk about convoluted stupidity. Imagine the scenario Mayor whats her name of Cologne been raped by a north african muslim, ” I apologise for you raping me, it’s all my fault for walking within a metre of you, how could I be so culturally insensitive, I shall surrender myself to the police as soon as you are finished with me..ee

  • Lady Magdalene

    No “British” citizen who has gone to fight, or in the case of women, support ISIS should be allowed to return to Britain.

    Their citizenship should be revoked; their passports cancelled and then should be left there until a drone lands on them.

    They made their choice. They should be made to stay with it.

    • Andrew

      It’s time for mandatory death sentences for people who return.

      • Mary Ann

        Another one who wants to follow the justice system of Daesh. Aren’t we supposed to be better than them?

        • Andrew

          It’s no different to dropping bombs on them. The less terrorists there are, the better. They can all die for all I care.

  • JRajBali

    I don’t understand how you can keep playing the “alienation” card when it’s clear that its about ideology. Ideology influences action and we are all responsible only for our actions; but, when an ideology ascribed to by a group is directly responsible for heinous actions by “individuals” and the group refuses to recognize that, then it is the group that bears the responsibility for the actions of the individual by creating an environment, context and philosophical road that encourages anti-civilizational behaviour.

  • Andrew

    Good. Hopefully they are completely obliterated very soon.

    At least then we can live in peace with our lovely new Wahhabi mosques paid for by the Saudis. What a generous bunch.

  • Caractacus

    “Hundreds of British Muslims have joined Isis. If or when the caliphate is smashed to pieces, some of them will be coming home.”

    And executed for treason. If British politicians had any guts at all.

    • sidor

      It’s much more convenient to do it there. No lawyers, no “human rights activists”. Just war casualties. The Syrian army can do the pest control job.

    • Gilbert White

      Thought an inquest was mandatory? What about British Citizens being killed on order by British Politicians? Will the politicians face charges in the future? What about the families do they recieve the benefits via Western Express? Some of the questions never answered. Just imagine where we would be today if Churchill worried about a few dead civilians and women and children.

    • Mary Ann

      This is a civilised country, we don’t have the death penalty and to change the law to suit your ideas is allowing Daesh to govern us.

      • Caractacus

        This won’t be a civilised country once Muslims are in the majority.

        • hobspawn

          This is not a civilised country. The authorities facilitate, on an industrial scale, the rape of young indigenous girls by immigrants who support, religiously, the destruction of our culture and traditions, our freedom and prosperity.

          Someone who speaks out about this has been put in a prison cell with the same seditious muslim criminals about whom he has been trying to warn us. He is being prosecuted by our traitorous police and legal establishment for being beaten up by them.

          Our government lies to us about mass immigration of those who are religiously determined to destroy us.

          A tax-funded broadcaster works tirelessly alongside government to support the removal of democratic accountability and our parliamentary settlement established over hundreds of years of fierce civil war.

          Britain is utterly broken, and power is in the hands of ruthless anti-British racist Marxists who have been brain-washed into providing for our total destruction.

          F**k Britain, f**k the Beeb, f**k the leftards, f**k islam and f**k the EULabCon conspiracy. War is coming. Get ready.

          Now let me tell you how I really feel 😉

    • Cobbett

      Better to just bar then entry.

  • UnionPacificRX

    What keeps IS alive is the creation of the Caliphate, not its brutality. The Caliphate has been a desire of many Muslims for decades, if not longer. How it was created is less an issue than it has been created and now has existed since 2013. It is a classical example of the ends justifying the means.

    Within the Caliphate it has a government and laws. But the issue is if that Caliphate is destroyed, those who work to destroy it will be demonized as “enemies of Islam” more so than even now. If the US and our coalition destroys it we also destroy a good deal of our goodwill among the middle Eastern nations, many of them who either secretly or openly support that entity. It will also change the collective thought of the Muslim world that their :Caliphate has been destroyed. it may lead to more radical methods to resurrect it again.

    If we do not destroy it then it may exist, thrive and eventually die. but during that process the Caliphate will change the demographics of the Middle East and the collective thought of most of the Muslim world.
    The Caliphate created by IS is similar to the Iranian Revolution which gave birth to the first genuine Islamic theocracy outside of Saudi Arabia.

    • Headstrong

      Bernie, that you are an apologist for the ISIS is well established. Weren’t you openly hoping that ISIS wipes out babies and children in places you don’t like – India for example? The words you used were “Can’t wait ….”!
      The ends justify the means, eh?

      • UnionPacificRX

        Moderator this user Headstrong is accusing me of things I have not said and labeling me by someone else. He has been doing this on this forum a few times. Could you please do something about his comment to me. this kind of cyber bullying should be banned.

      • http://www.twitter.com/alanbaoart Alan Bao

        Are we reading the same comment? Because the OP said none of the things you’re accusing him of. Either you’re a witless troll, or…

        • Headstrong

          That’s because you have not read what I have
          Quoting Bernie, in his original avatar –
          “Oh one more thing. Sooner than later there will be bomb attacks in your Hindu India. WHEN (and not if) that happens and HINDU women, children babies and adults are BLOWN UP I am going to celebrate. DIE DIE DIE YOU FILTHY HINDUS I HOPE ISIS GETS TO YOUR INDIA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
          I WANT TO SEE THOUSANDS OF YOU HINDUS BLOWN UP”
          http://atimes.com/2015/10/after-dodging-war-crimes-probe-lanka-focuses-on-truth-reconciliation/

  • Edward Studor

    This Paul Wood seems to know a lot of terrorists. Oh, sorry, just noticed, he works for the BBC.

    • Steve G

      Nice one 🙂 Sick to death of the Brussels Broadcasting Cooperation .

  • Will Johnson

    Hope you’re right Mr Wood. But our cousins — the Voice of America– take a much gloomier view.

    http://www.voanews.com/content/why-is-islamic-state-so-hard-to-beat/3135335.html

    • Cobbett

      Can’t say i’ve got any African, Mexican, Chinese, Korean, Jewish….”cousins”

  • Michelle P

    The truth about ISIS is that Obama released al Baghdadi in 2009. Baghdadi went on to lead ISIS,

    Obama Admin. Continued Support of Terrorists
    2013-Afghan government slams US for sending arms to Taliban
    http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/10/02/327215/afghan-mp-slams-us-for-arming-taliban/
    “The Afghan Interior Ministry has strongly condemned the US military over a shipment of weapons to Zabul Province in the troubled southern Afghanistan.”

    Muslim Brotherhood Linked to Malik Obama and Obama Admin. 9/2013
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/16606-muslim-brotherhood-linked-to-malik-obama-and-obama-admin

    Obama Administration Accused of Creating ISIS -by Muslimsp
    Nabeel Naiem: “It is known that the USA released him from prison and he spent 20 to 30 million US Dollars to establish these ISIS groups and the first ISIS camps werestablished in Jordan, these camps were supervised by the Marines, and the arming of ISIS is all American.”
    http://www.syrianews.cc/isis-the-bombshell-interview-to-impeach-obama/

    ISIS Soldiers trained in United States
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/going-after-the-islamic-state/54014

    OBAMA BYPASSES CONGRESS, GIVES $1.5 BILLION TO MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/03/21/obama-bypasses-congress-gives-1-5-billion-to-muslim-brotherhood

    Obama Unilaterally Pulls Support for Egypt as Morsi Fights Against Taliban Terrorists
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/10/12/Obama-Pulls-Support-Egypt

    How the Taliban got their hands on modern US missiles (CIA) – 2014
    http://nypost.com/2014/06/08/how-the-taliban-got-their-hands-on-modern-us-missiles/

    Syrian’s Rebels Desribe US backed Training in Qatar
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/syria-arming-the-rebels/syrian-rebels-describe-u-s-backed-training-in-qatar/

    Pipeline Predicament: The Ukraine-Syria-Russia-U.S. gas nexus
    http://www.tehrantimes.com/component/content/article/52-guests/114806-pipeline-predicament-the-ukraine-syria-russia-us-gas-nexus

    Sources: Syrian jihad coming to Egypt with help from Turkey, Qatar and Obama
    http://www.worldtribune.com/2014/04/14/sources-syrian-jihad-coming-egypt-help-turkey-qatar-obama/

    Seeds of Terror
    How heroin is bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda.
    http://failuremag.com/feature/article/seeds_of_terror/#ixzz35QhbgQ8K

    Drug shipments off of Africa have “significantly increased since 2009”
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/international/2014/June/international_June26.xml&section=international

    • Michelle P

      Not that Obama is ultimatly responsible, but truth is truth. This is all about the lucrative black market of arms, drugs, and petrol. Bank are laundering that money with impunity. The criminals are running the show. Obama isn’t the first treasonous sock puppet beholden to something other than the people and he won’t be the last.

  • Albert Zbingswiki

    They’ve already won. Their goat fvcking, inbred, brainwashed rabble have infested every country, and we are being forced to change to suit them. I weep for the future.

  • Smiffy51

    The genocide of the Yazidi and the horrible enslavement of their girls does not seem to be slowing.

  • Jacobi

    Fear is now a luxury, as also now is delusion. Whether we like it or not, facts must be faced.

    ISIL or whatever it is called is but a link in a long chain, that being Sunni/Saudi- Arabia/UAE, etc./ and now of course Turkey. I won’t call it SSET since that is a bit obvious.

    They have two main objectives, the first being to to destroy that circa 10% of Islam which is not Sunni, and the second to Islamise the West.

    They have several means at their disposal including military destruction, this latter being possible because the US and UK arms industries continue to supply them. Which is absurd because this whole chain of Sunni/Saudi/others/ ISIL/and Turkey are the enemies of the West, our enemies and are only just getting under way, in no way defeated. ISIL will simply spring up elsewhere.

    Saudi- Arabia will see to that.

    No more delusions. Let’s deal with Saudi-Arabia first – and find other outlets for our
    arms industries.

  • hobspawn

    Reports of Islam’s death are an exaggeration.

  • trobrianders

    We didn’t defeat Nazism by targeting individual Nazis. Back then we were still ruled by Reason and not Correctness. Our leaders understood then that only total demoralisation through total annihilation can defeat a mad ideology. That means blanket bombing. Anything else encourages our enemy. Anything else extinguishes one small fire as two take its place. Throw out the appeasers.

  • 3aple

    “Recruits are deserting.”

    Just don’t dare allow them back into the west.

    .

  • John Smith

    The european special services, Pesh Merga, YPG, Arab League, Israel & Iraq are doing a good combined job on the ground

    We will never hear the detail but we will celebrate the result

  • Oliver James

    ISIS will be defeated easily, However the millions of muslim immigrants to europe and the USA are going to present a significant threat to the democratic process of western civilization for a generation

  • Honkingeese Watchgoose lll

    ISIS is a tiny sideshow, but it’s the excuse for millions of backward thinking ignorant muslims to spread by immigration their vile satanic vomit all over civilisation, and even THAT is not the killer factor that honour goes to us, the dopey nits who accept such pathetic and obvious inanity like ISLAM IS PEACE spouted by Bush and Obastard without falling on the floor in paroxisms, the moronic self-righteous who welcome the refugees without the slightest idea WHAT it is they welcome. Multiculturalism at levels never before dreamed of forced onto us by the same people who all agreed (Cameron Blair Merkle et al) all ADMITTED multi culti has been a complete and total failure, so now they ramp it up 100 fold, that should fix it! And still the people are apathetic and accepting, we are the problem and the architects of our own demise. Ollore Wok Bore!

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