Concluded War against IS?

Declaring the end of the war against IS, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi announced on Saturday that Iraqi forces were in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border; hence the war against IS was ended. The announcement came once the Iraqi forces recaptured the town of Rawa. For the last few months, Iraqi troops had been fighting to retake the small pockets in the border area that were still under the control of IS. Abadi’s announcement marks the end of the war against IS that last for almost three years.

With the latest defeats that the group has suffered from, IS’s control over large territory in Iraq proved to be a house of cards. While the Iraqi people will find some peace, as the terror group is defeated, at least, for now, peace is still fragile in the region.

Other reports coming from the region suggest that war is far from over. The terror outfit has seized territory in Syria’s Idlib province after four years. IS took the village of Bashkun. With the regaining of villages in the northeast of the region, it is hard to believe the claims of Iraq’s PM. Though Daesh has seen the so-called caliphate it declared in 2014 across parts of Syria and Iraq crumble in recent weeks, the group’s ability to retake territory make them a constant danger.

It can be said that while current war has come to an end but non-state actors prefer to vex governments and states with guerilla warfare. This means the conflict will continue, as the organization will carry on attacking public and private instalments and spaces, as they are operating in Africa.

The gains by Iraqi governments will force IS to move towards irregular and asymmetric warfare. With foreign fighters to reach the battlefield, IS leaders can instruct them to remain home and launch attacks there. Thus the idea of the group’s demise is not a plausible one.

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