raids on ISIS

Author: Mohammad Saleh Alftayeh

This map illustrates the distribution of Coalition’s raids on ISIS’ positions in Syria and Iraq as of mid October. In spite of the fact that ISIS’ forces are about to take control over all of the Al-Anbar province, the largest province of Iraq, only few raids have targeted ISIS’ positions there. It does not seem that the Coalition wants to undermine ISIS’ efforts in Al-Anbar. The same can be said about Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.

Ayen Al-Arab ranks first with more than 120 air raids (20% of all raids). The only city that comes second to Ayen Al-Arab is Mosul, a city to the south of Kurdistan, where intense fighting took place between ISIS and the Kurdish Peshmerga. The air raids seem to be only fulfilling one objective which is to protect the Kurdish areas in Syria and Iraq, ignoring everybody else there.

This is not a groundless accusation! What would you say when you know that ISIS’ stronghold in Al-Shadady, south of Al-Hassakah, has not been targeted even once by the Coalition even though this area is known to be the hub connecting ISIS’ forces in both Iraq and Syria and where most of ISIS’ heavy weapons are stored! Another strange thing is the case of the city of Samarra, north-west of Baghdad, which is home to the al-Askari Mosque, which contains the mausoleums of the Ali al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari, the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams. ISIS have declared that they are going to destroy those two mausoleums once they control the city of Samarra. If such a thing takes place, we are certainly going to witness a bloody sectarian war that might not be confined to the borders of Iraq. So what has the Coalition done in Samarra? Nothing at all! Not one singe air raid there!

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