Middle Eastern Terror in Flux:
Mosul after Daesh, Daesh after Raqqa
Wolfgang Mühlberger & Olli Ruohomäki
Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Ladda ner PDF (3.06 Mb)
The US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011
coincided with the militarisation of the upheaval in Syria, preparing the
ground for Daesh to emerge as a transnational jihadist militia.
Daesh’s cross-border territorial gains
from 2014 continue to be reversed on multiple fronts in Iraq and Syria as major
military campaigns are being waged in Mosul and Al-Bab, and are under
preparation in Raqqa, the "capital” of the self-styled caliphate. Remarkably,
Palmyra, the only place recaptured by the Syrian military itself, was retaken
by Daesh in December 2016.
A huge number of actors, often with
conflicting goals, are involved in the anti-Daesh offensives: the Iraqi armed
forces, supporting militias and the Popular Mobilisation Units;
Kurdish-dominated armed factions; the Turkish military, Russia, Iran and the
multinational Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ are all engaged in this fight.
As no terrorist movement can operate
effectively without a broad range of supporters, Iraq’s political arrangements
and the peace-building process in Syria will significantly determine the future
Sunni stance over extremist ideas and organisations, particularly Salafi-jihadism.
Furthermore, two main issues emerge with
regard to an assumed post-Daesh order: the reorientation of its fighters,
including foreign fighters returning to Europe and the capability of inclusive governance to roll back sectarianism.