Results for Tag: IslamicState
The first, still best, option – repatriation of foreign nationals – is arguably a quickly closing window. Even then, questions would remain about what should happen to Iraqi and Syrian nationals, and what role the West should play in resolving their situation. But European powers must avoid taking the third option they’d been exercising by default – doing nothing, and waiting for circumstances to change.
If the 2015 movement could be deemed as characteristic of a ‘new civil society’, the specificities of the Iraqi context structured by political and sectarian violence make the rejection of identity politics, especially sectarian identity and religion, central. For Iraqi protesters individual freedom, especially the freedom not to belong to a religious and sectarian group is considered as essential as economic equality.
It is not so much that Trump is fulfilling his election vow to pull US troops from Syria that is concerning. It is the way he is doing it: without any apparent strategy, without any protection for the forces the US army has been cooperating with in the war against ISIS since 2014 and without any concern for the rights of Kurds (and other minorities) in a post-war Syria. This leaves the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) and the SDF highly vulnerable. And it leaves the local population open to ethnic cleansing.
It is becoming ever clearer that the movement is transforming itself at a much faster rate than expected, even as the US president seeks to bring the troops back from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. In the short term he may win some political advantage, and it might even help his re-election bid, but the reality is that we are actually in a relative lull in a very long conflict, even if western leaders remain convinced that military power has been the right answer, even after 19 years of failure.
Tens of thousands of people who left the city before the final battle have now returned. But life is far from easy: most of the buildings are in ruins, there is no electricity and IS sleeper cells still pose a threat. Crucially, a lack of international recognition of the city’s civilian administration is hampering reconstruction.
Conducting archaeological research requires direct contact with ancient sites and materials. But the escalating armed violence in Syria continues to prevent archaeologists from resuming their work on the land. Most of the international institutions shifted their focus from Syria and moved their teams and projects to neighboring countries.