At the beginning of September, Western Journalism reported that Islamic State had announced that it had used the refugee crisis in Europe to smuggle 4,000 Jihadist gunmen into the continent.
The report was based on an interview with an ISIS smuggler who said that the 4,000 gunmen were ready to start operations in Europe, and that their infiltration into European countries was part of a larger plot that aimed to avenge the air campaign by the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State.
On Friday, Islamic State kept word and started a large-scale operation in Europe when ISIS terrorists killed 129 innocent people and wounded 352 others in Paris, France.
The attacks led to public outrage, a flood of condemnations, bold statements and even threats by Western leaders.
President Obama, for example, said that the attacks were a “terrible and sickening” setback in the fight against ISIS and boasted that “progress has been made.” The President ruled out sending ground troops to combat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, however.
Responding to calls to rethink the strategy against Islamic State, Obama reacted:
It is not just my view, but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers that that (rethinking strategy) would be a mistake. A strategy has to be one that can be sustained. The strategy we are pursuing that’s the strategy we are going to have to pursue. And we are going to continue to generate more partners for that strategy.
President Hollande of France said on Friday night that “our fight will be merciless because these terrorists that are capable of such atrocities need to know that they will be confronted by a France that is determined, unified and together.”
Two days later, France reacted to the assault on its capital with airstrikes on Raqqa, the capital of the ISIS Caliphate, and a massive crackdown on Islamist radicals in France.
Twenty bombs were dropped on Raqqa by a French squadron of ten warplanes. The French jets destroyed a command center, a training camp and an ammunition dump, media reported.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama used the G-20 summit to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to join the U.S. led (???) campaign against Islamic State, but commentators don’t expect Putin to coordinate his war effort in Syria with the Western allies. The Russians and the Iranians have their own coalition whose main goal is to consolidate President Bashar al-Assad’s rule over what is left of Syria, and not the defeat of Islamic State.
So is there anything new in the Western approach to the battle against Islamic State?
Israeli experts think that after the initial public outrage and bold statements by political leaders, everything will remain more or less the same. The West won’t change its strategy in the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, they think. There will be no initiative to send ground forces to Syria or Iraq, something many argue is imperative if the West wants to crush Islamic State.
As Obama already indicated, there…