For over a year now, US airstrikes against ISIS targets have been going on; it’s true these airstrikes have caused attrition and downgraded ISIS’s offensive capabilities. They have also been responsible for cutting revenue to the renegade fanatic group and made their leaders take notice that they are very vulnerable to drone and other airstrikes no matter where they may be. The fact also remains that despite these airstrikes, ISIS’s hold on the regions they have captured in Syria and Iraq remain largely unchanged and millions of innocent people remain subjugated to them and live under the fear of their reign every single day. Finally, somebody is willing to commit ground troops to take the fight to ISIS in the streets.
The fact remains that with all that bombing, the only significant territorial losses by ISIS have been when the Kurds have committed ground troops in Iraq and Northern Syria. It is pretty significant proof that an air campaign alone will not weaken ISIS’s resolve and dislodge them from the places they occupy that they captured during their lightning fast offensive across Northern Iraq and Northern Syria.
It must be noted that Iraqi ground troops took back the city of Ramadi from ISIS just recently too, but it is hard to claim that victory as part of a successful commitment of ground troops because Ramadi was a stronghold that should have been able to turn back the advance of ISIS in the first place.
The latest to seriously consider sending ground forces into Northern Syria are the Saudi’s and Turks. It was stated that Saudi Arabian F-15’s were already on the ground in Incirlik airbase in Turkey as part of the plan. Saudi Arabia has said it also plans to send some commandos and other ground troops to try and take the city of Raqqa, ISIS’s defacto capitol and symbol of power.
There is one big problem with the plan though, and that is Russia who is now fighting on the side of the Syrian regime. If Turkey and Saudi Arabia do enter into ground battles in Northern Syria, it could very easily draw them into direct conflict with Russia. It has definitely slowed down the momentum a little for the ground action to start.
Saudi Arabia has also assembled a nice little group of nations to form a coalition to take on ISIS. They have even scheduled a 2 – 3 week military training exercise with some of these nations such as Chad, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Malaysia, Senegal, Morocco, and Tunisia. It is interesting to note that almost all of these nations have a direct beef with ISIS or have threats from other groups affiliated with them in their midst.
It is nice for us folks from the United States to see some concerned Middle Eastern nations and other allied nations at least consider the possibility of taking the fight to ISIS. History has shown us that there will have to be boots on the ground to defeat this common enemy. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have taken the first steps and it will be interesting to see what happens from here.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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