Last week, President Donald Trump oversaw a military operation that led to the death of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In 2014, Barak Obama’s Administration coordinated a secret operation that took out al-Qaida leader, Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. AMINAT SALAUDEEN in this piece, asked, if the death of al-Baghdadi will mark the end of Islamic State.
t is becoming a pattern among the United States presidents to oversee raids clapping down on terrorists’ leaders. Last week, President Donald Trump supervised an operation that led to catastrophic end of ISIS leader; Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Similarly, Barrack Obama’s administration coordinated a secret operation that led to the death of al-Qaida leader, Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2,2011.
Some analysts are quick to equate this feat as a major blow to ISIS and may mark its demise but an assistant professor at the Defense Studies Department of King’s College, Andreas Krieg, think otherwise,
“The killing of the so-called self-proclaimed caliph doesn’t make any
difference in that, different groups that existed and continued to exist after the collapse of the physical caliphate will continue to fight in the underground in Syria and Iraq, but also in Afghanistan and sub-Saharan and else.”
He further hints that the death of leader does not in any way signify the complete eradication and elimination of ISIS. To buttress this stance a man named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi to be the successor of Al-Baghdadi.
This situation further reinforces the words of Patrick J. Kennedy which says that “Terrorism is a psychological warfare.” As long as an ideology remains, there will always be the likelihood of actions that depicts such ideology. This is the situation of ISIS.
Corroborating all of this, Hasan Haniyeh, an Amman-based analyst, in an interview with Aljazeera claimed that the death of the leader of the terrorist organization might not bring “any substantive change” and also further stated that “al-Baghdadi, as a figurehead, had become a burden on the organization, since the group’s defeats in Iraq and Syria.”
He also opined that the ISIS will live on not as a Caliphate it claims to be but will revert back to being an organisation. This shows that although the former ISIS leader was the face of the organisation to
the world, his existence did not fuel that of the organisation as a whole.
Dana Stroul, a former Pentagon official also contributed by explaining that “Just as Osama Bin Laden’s death did not lead to the elimination of Al Qaeda, I would expect that Baghdadi’s removal will not be the final death knell of ISIS –despite its significance.”
Also of significance is the role played by Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), which had been a major partner of the United States in the fight against ISIS and the tyranny of the Assad regime. The forces have been heavily backed by the US and became the known rebel group the US supports since Obama’s administration until earlier this month, when Trump pulled American troops from northern Syria, successfully
giving Turkey the go ahead to launch an offensive against them. The operation killed hundreds of Kurdish civilians and fighters.
SDF spokesperson Mustafa Bali told newsmen that the Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF) had an informant in ISIS who led them to the location where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was hiding. The informant also obtained a piece of Baghdadi’s underwear and blood sample that was used for the DNA test to confirm his identity before the raid took place. From further research, the SDF Commander Gen Mazloum Abdi and
he and his people played a key role in the operation that haunted down the ISIS leader. Also, Trump’s order to withdraw US troops from Syria had a main influence on the preparation of the operation that led to the suicide of Baghdadi.
Experts have opined that the death of the ISIS leader will hamper the organisation for a little while; however ISIS continues to pose a threat in Syria, especially because many of its fighters and families escaped during the Turkish raid on Kurdish fighters after the announcement of the US to pull its troops from Syria.
The SDF warned of the continuing dangers from the Islamic State and Turkish-backed forces in Syria. “We warn the world of the danger that jihadi factions with the Turkish army may enter Ras al-Ain and Tel
Abyad areas occupied by Turkey-backed militias and that the region could become another safe-haven in which ISIS may find opportunities to re-organize,” according to the statement. “We have already indicated that IS members and some senior leaders of the group have already moved to areas controlled by Turkish army in northern Syria.”
This here further attests to the complication of the Middle East politics.
The influence of ISIS has been reduced militarily over the years and territories that have been gotten back. This is largely due to the influence and cooperation of some rebel forces and international coalitions. Research has shown that some countries may have fostered the expansion of ISIS due to the politization of their own interests which hampered the fight against the terrorist group. The hardest war to fight remains psychological warfare. ISIS is fueled by its power of indoctrination and until this is won against, the ideals will remain.
Following its formal expansion into Syria in 2013 he renamed the group to be Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This declaration caused a fall out between the new founded group (ISIS) and its former umbrella Al-Qaeda and led to the disassociation of the later from the former.
He committed many terrorist acts across the Middle East and Europe, made ISIS become one of the most vicious terrorist groups in modernhistory, declared a Caliphate which was said to be roughly the size of the United Kingdom and further complicated the Syrian war until his suicide on 26th October 2019.
Following the account given by the US president Donald Trump, Baghdadi died during a night raid by US Special Forces in Barisha, a village in Syria’s Northwestern province of Idlib. The Isis leader detonated a suicide vest in a dead-end tunnel killing himself and three of his children
He was born Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al- Samarrai, near Samarra, Iraq on the 28th July 1971. He was the third of four sons and claimed to be a descendent of the Quraysh tribe. According to some sources he got is BA, MA and Ph.D. in Islamic studies from Islamic University of Baghdad. It was said that he was a timid and quiet young man in his youth and he was called names like the ‘Invisible Sheikh’ and ‘The Ghost’ because of his nature. He became a bit more prominent after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as the head of Sharia committee in the militant group Jamaat Jaysh Ahl al-Sunnah wa-l-Jamaah (JJASJ) of which he was a founding member. This organization later crashed into the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) which was later the renamed the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) the division of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Al
Baghdadi was made leader of the ISI after the death his predecessor, Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.