In the long run the “caliphate” was little greater than a sprawling expanse of rubble and mangled vehicles, strewn with the corpses of ISIS fighters.
However it wasn’t the ultimate battle. We have been improper.
But simply days after the Turkish military and its Syrian allies invaded northeastern Syria final week, tons of have escaped, and because the offensive continues and the SDF comes beneath ever better strain, extra will in all probability escape of captivity.
Few of the ISIS girls or the fighters we interviewed conceded defeat.
Omar, a Palestinian refugee who grew up in Syria, informed me: “Perhaps the People rule the world at present, however God Almighty promised the Muslims that, ultimately, the world might be dominated by Islam.”
It was, they insisted, a brief setback. ISIS, they vowed, would return.
They usually have been in all probability proper.
ISIS fighters on the unfastened
In September, ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi urged his followers in an audio message to breach the partitions of the prisons and the camps and free their brethren. And so it has come to cross. As Turkey presses its offensive, the SDF might be compelled to drag its women and men away from guarding the prisons and camps and ship them to the entrance traces.
And assistance is close by.
Pentagon officers have mentioned for months now that 1000’s of ISIS fighters and sympathizers are on the unfastened throughout Syria and Iraq. They perform common hit-and-run assaults. They’re down, however not out.
ISIS has lengthy excelled at exploiting energy vacuums, and now one is opening up.
The battle in opposition to ISIS, joined by then-US President Barack Obama and carried on by his successor President Donald Trump, was all for naught.
We noticed, because the battle for Baghouz raged, US, British and French particular forces manning artillery and mortar positions across the city as US-led anti-ISIS coalition warplanes hit targets on the bottom. We noticed US, British and French intelligence officers screening and interrogating everybody who left Baghouz.
And now, in lower than every week, all that was achieved, and sacrificed, all of the lives and treasure expended, has come undone.
Turkish forces, alongside their Syrian allies, are pummeling the SDF. And the US is saying it would undertake a “deliberate withdrawal from northeast Syria” as a result of, within the phrases of US Protection Secretary Mark Esper, American forces are “possible caught between two opposing, advancing armies and it is a very untenable scenario.”
That a kind of “two opposing armies” fought side-by-side with the US appears to matter little to the US and its President who, since final December, has appeared in an terrible hurry to drag US forces out of Syria.
And, in fact, the time period “deliberate withdrawal” is government-speak for one thing a lot less complicated: betrayal and retreat.