The Islamic State (IS), the Sunni militia, emerged as a potent force in June 2014 capturing vast swathes of Iraq and Syria, carrying out executions, forced slavery, abduction of civilians and posing a terrifying threat to the world countries.
The United States, European Union and their allies and the UN have been wary of the group’s rapid advancement unable to do little to curb their moves. The Western powers admit that their calculations of toppling the IS insurgents with their ground forces by extending support to the Iraq-Kurd forces and the Shia militants through constant airstrikes went futile. Obama refused the Republicans’ demand to deploy the ground forces due to the bitter experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are already thousands of US troops in the region. The Western forces might be able to bring about wide spread destruction and suppress the insurgents. But the fact that it costs the lives of the Al Qaida and IS militants, fail their attempts.
The IS has conquered a major part of Syria, the latest being Palmyra, a historic city and United Nations world heritage site and Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province. The UN condemned the move calling it "an enormous loss to humanity". The militants have previously destroyed ancient sites with temples and statues in Iraq that pre-date Islam. Egypt’s Al Azhar University recently had passed a religious law that it was against Islam to destroy the ancient sites of historic importance. But the militants are least bothered and slaughter those who are counted as their foes. The British-US troops that carried out the Iraq invasion had looted and destroyed the valuable Islamic monuments and heritage sites which weren’t prevented neither by the UN nor any other powers. The NATO forces claimed the lives of nearly 2 lakh civilians during the war. Now the same troops raising their voice against the Islamic State invoke pity.
A portion of the Opposition battling Bashar Al Assad is believed to be supporting the Islamic State. Alawis, the religious group centered in Syria that follows a sub branch of Shia Islam had dominated Syria so far. The Sunni majority group that was formed for battling the Alawis and establishing democracy in the country would be facing crisis if no support is received. The open support of Iran and Russia extended to Assad is the also another reason why a part of the opposition backs the IS insurgents. The stance of countries like Saudi Arabia that backed the Syrian civil protests is cynical. They are unable to back or assist the IS. Saudi Arabia is also upset with the thawing of relations between the Western powers and Iran as part of the much-discoursed nuclear deal. The deal would further strengthen Iran which would then pose a threat to Saudi Arabia. The Iran policy of the Western powers is also being blamed for blocking the military operations against the IS.
In short the conflicting positions of the US and the Middle East countries are what is nurturing the Islamic State. They have already stabilized their financial position by conquering the oil fields. Given the precarious and critical scenario, the future ahead seems bleak.