More Dangerous than ISIS!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 23 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Wed 23 August / Aug 2017. 10:00 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Most estimates anticipate the end of the ISIS de facto state in Iraq and Syria within the upcoming year.

The Tal Afar battle has begun, pending the launch further decisive military operations in Raqqa and Deir el Zour.

In the aftermath, however, it is likely that the ISIS problem will escalate.

By this, I do not mean the tactical transformation in the organisation’s operational patterns. That is clear; soon enough, ISIS will turn to urban, street warfare, to build bases and cells all throughout the region.

What I mean by the ISIS problem, in the aftermath, is what to expect in Syria and Iraq once their self-proclaimed state is gone.

Surely, it will not be a civil, democratic, pluralist state for either one or the other.

Neither will learnt from the past.

In fact, both Syria and Iraq are now under unprecedented Iranian dominion, suffering sectarianism and division, which subsequently will escalate the “Sunni Crisis”.

We spoke before about how ISIS capitalised on the Sunni identity and social crisis, to build its overwhelming momentum, at some point in the past.

ISIS presented themselves as the vanguard defenders of the Sunni identity which is facing the threat of extinction in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

This means that the post-ISIS era will probably be even more dangerous.

If this threat becomes a reality, it can sling the whole region back to the dark ages; the real dark ages.

The entirety of the area is on the brink of collapsing back to the clusters of sect, race, and religious conflict and dispute, as the Iranian influence expands.

It is no secret that the Iranian geo-political endeavour is charged with a historical-sectarian tendency to dominate the region.

Sooner than later, the regional players will invoke the sectarian struggle from the pits of history to cultivate a new geo-political reality in the Arab region.

As these disputes intensify, other ethnic and racial conflicts will surface, along with disputes the region has avoided for decades past.

For decades Arab states have instigated and pushed for the nation-state, until they fell into the wombs of division, from the occupation of Iraq all the way to the rise of the Arab revolutions.

The Arab regional system collapsed and disintegrated in the midst of all that, and it all spirally went out of control, leaving our nation-states at the edge of divide.

What Qassim Suleimani is doing is really starting to inspire fear, above all else.

It goes beyond military victories to actual sectarian, demographic redistribution in many Iraqi and Syrian cities.

Even if the current state of affairs should see some tranquillity, or even major shifts in the balance of power in the field, it will still predetermine an era of civil warfare throughout the region. Wars and struggles driven by sectarian and racial endeavours to surface in the coming years!

The problem is not Iran, as a nationalist state, or the fact that it has become a regional power.

It is our fault; the Arabs’, mainly, for shutting Iran out for decades, and making an enemy of our neighbour instead of a friend, which makes collision now, or in the near future, and inevitability.

Meanwhile, the reformist current in Iran, which is trying to dilute the intensity of sectarian disputes domestically and regionally, often finds itself helpless in the face of the deeper sectarian powers.

The reformists there were unable to consolidate power against the sectarian fanatics in Iran who hold the real keys there.

Of course, Suleimani identifies with the sectarian, Shiite current, and he’s the real leader of the interstate militias operating in Iraq and Syria.

He himself has become a significant player in the regional situation.

This, naturally, does not mean that the Arab states are not to blame for what we’ve become; those too have played the sectarian card against Iran’s.

Our own states too have sought to manipulate the identity crisis, and they will surely pay a ransom price for it.

The sectarian-identity crisis has been employed by both poles of the reginal-sectarian turmoil in a way that has turned it all into a big, ticking time-bomb, ready to explode in their faces at any given moment.

One significant aspect of this crisis is the lot of Shiites in various Arab states under suppression. Their own countries are more than ever, today, unwilling to acknowledge that they even exist, as Shiites.

Regionally speaking, there is no doubt that the aftermath of the ISIS problem is far worse than ISIS itself.

No matter how vicious and ruthless the terrorist group is, it is all merely a part of a much larger, more dangerous peril staring straight at the region.

It seems there is no place for reason in our war-torn reality, which will sooner than later land us in a whirlpool of sectarian, religious, ethic, and racial bloodbath without end!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.