24 September 2014
The last time the United States marshalled an offensive this intense in the Middle East, it was in 2003, against the Saddam regime in Iraq. Then, many in the region deeply opposed the strikes by the US-led Western coalition.
This time round, the Arab response looks far more divided, with alignments and allegiances far more complex than before.
Unlike Iraq’s Saddam Hussein a decade ago, the enemy is not a national leader but the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whose violent, radical ideology presents a very real threat to not just territories, but the way of life as the majority of Arabs in neighbouring states know it.
…”Many Iraqi Sunnis may feel the Islamic State is the response to what they see as an American policy that brought the Shi’ites to power in Iraq,” said Mr James M. Dorsey of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, referring to ISIS by its other name. “Syrian Sunnis may welcome the US offensive against the Islamic State but see its rise as a result of the US failure to wholeheartedly support more moderate rebels,” he added.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 24/09/2014