The Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain-al-Arab, has been the site of fierce fighting between Syrian Kurds and Islamic State (ISIS) for over three weeks. Some have even come to see it as a crucible for President Obama’s military strategy, arguing that if ISIS can still make territorial gains despite US air strikes, the chances for total victory over Islamic State are pretty bleak.
While it’s expected that it will be the Kurds who separate from Iraq, the real beneficiaries from a break-up of the country would be the Shia. They’re the ones who control 80 percent of the country’s oil wealth, and they would prefer not to share it with hostile neighbors.
Threat Assessment: The Khorasan Terror Cell More Dangerous Than Islamic State? Benjamin Syme Van Ameringen
Unlike Islamic State, this new terror cell - known as ‘Khorasan’ - is far more interested in attacking targets in Europe and North America than they are in creating an Islamic Caliphate or toppling the Assad Regime.
Much has been made of the potentially destabilizing effects of foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria to their home countries in Central Asia. But how real is the actual threat?