ISIS steps up terror attacks worldwide in retaliation for massive defeats in Mideast
Palestinian observers said the recent attacks of the Islamic State (IS) in various parts of the world were motivated by revenge, following a series of significant defeats it has suffered in Syria and Iraq.
Dozens of people have been killed since March in a spate of IS-claimed terror attacks that has spread through the United Kingdom, France and Belgium, in which the terror suspects used vehicles, knives and explosives to mow down pedestrians, attack police and blow up innocent people.
Many people attribute the growing wave of terror attacks in Europe to significant IS defeats in its last two strongholds in Iraq’s Mosul and Syria’s Raqqa, as it is only a question of time for the cities to be liberated from IS occupation.
Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian academic, told Xinhua that as the IS is losing ground, it is desperate to its ability to carry out terrorist activities in retaliation.
“Whenever IS encounters difficulties in its main bases on the ground, it resorts to revenge to achieve a self-affirmation through individual operations here and there,” he said.
The expert also said the anarchy and lack of development, in addition to the growing unemployment and other economic problems in the Arab area, contribute to IS expansion in the region.
“The complete elimination of the IS requires treating and resolving all these problems and giving young people greater opportunities in all fields,” Khatib noted.
Hani Masri, a Palestinian writer and political analyst, said IS is trying to find a new strategy by carrying out terrorist attacks in other countries to prove that the group is still powerful.
The recent attacks in Britain “aimed at easing the intensive strikes waged on its military bases, especially after it has lost control on most of its territory it seized in Syria and Iraq,” Masri said.
“I believe that the recent IS attacks were nothing more than a farewell strike, or exactly as a human being who would give up his last breath,” he stressed.
“IS wants to prove it is still there and that it has an underground network of cells that are ready everywhere in the world, but this fact will not keep its presence in either Iraq or Syria,” Masri added.
However, it is the environment and the climate that led to the emergence of the IS, the Palestinian expert explained.
“The military strikes against the organization may stop or block its military actions for a while, but it will return again, or there might be a new alternative to the group,” he said.
Abdel-Majid Suweilm, a West Bank-based political science professor, agreed that IS has recently lost its geographical influence in Syria and Iraq.
Suweilm believes that IS quick move to carry out military operations across the world is “to prove that it still has great potential.”
“Most likely, IS is to continue carrying out attacks in the coming period, through groups or elements that are called ‘stray wolves’ or other names,” he noted.
He pointed out that IS is still getting millions of dollars from oil sales, ransoms of kidnapping, sale of antiquities and the exploitation of natural resources in the areas it controls.
Suweilm pointed out that success in combating the terrorism of IS and the cessation of its attacks “require a decisive unity of countries and organizations in the face of IS and addressing the environment that led to its emergence and growing strength.”