As ISIS, now often referred to as Daesh, continues to stir fear in the global context, there are questions about any progress one year since the establishment of the Global Coalition To Counter ISIS.
In an interview with Nadia Bilbassy of Al Arabiya, Special Presidential Envoy John Allen revealed important lessons learned by the Coalition in the fight against extremism, particularly against the daesh militants.
General Allen says very close attention is being paid to what has been accomplished in the year since the establishment of the Coalition.
General Allen cited that the first important lesson is that the fight against Daesh is going to take a while.
However, amid the expectation that the mission might take longer, the Coalition has accomplished a lot.
“When I look back on that year, when I looked at where we were this time last year, the situation was pretty grim.” – General Allen
According to General Allen, if they have to look back, the atrocities committed by Daesh have been worse. They started to spread terror in Iraq, and there were atrocities that had never seen before, the fall of large components of Iraq, the threat to the Kurdish region, and even the threat to Erbil itself.
In addition, Iraqi Security Forces were in very serious trouble, and Daesh was headed for Baghdad.
“And we frankly weren’t sure whether it was going to survive, the country.” – General Allen
General Allen said that in the meantime, a capable political leadership has emerged in Baghdad in the form of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has brought the central government a long way – far beyond what was thought it could have been this time last year.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s leadership brought some significant political progress.
“He’s not satisfied with where it is, but he has a plan.” -General Allen
In addition, one important lesson learned is the realization that there is great capacity when the community of nations comes together to try to respond to an emergency.
Looking back last year, Daesh was a real emergency where it was already well embedded in Syria, an area of great chaos even then and greater chaos now in many respects.
However, nations came together to work very closely not just in the stabilization of Iraq, but to try to empower the people of the region to combat the threat.
Countering the Message of Daesh
According to General Allen, there were significant efforts in helping the region to counter the message of Daesh.
“We ultimately hope and seek to counter that message so that it does not create an allure for the youth.” – General Allen
He stressed they want credible governance to take root, justice to take root, equal rights to take root, to create an opportunity where the emerging youth of the region are better educated than ever before.
“We want to create a platform in the aftermath of dealing with Daesh where these aspirations can be achieved, and any thought that Daesh has a resort or an alternative leaves their minds.” – General Allen
Daesh Terror In Iraq
The rebel fighters belong to the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
The terroristic moves were not something new for the group, known for its insurgency operations in Nineveh and other provinces.
Mosul was the second city to be seized by the militants in 2014. The Iraqi government lost control of Fallujah earlier in 2014.
At the time aggression raged in Mosul, the International Organization for Migration estimated the number of people displaced by violence in Mosul and surrounding areas of Ninewa governorate reached 500,000.
Daesh still apears to receive funding from oil revenue and wealthy donors in the Arab Gulf states.
In August 2014, Assyrians in the US were reporting that ISIS was killing their families and friends in Iraq. WGN TV in Chicago reported that “The largest group of Iraqi Christians outside of Iraq lives in Chicago.”