Thomas Hobbes spoke of “a war of all against all” in his book, Leviathan, and it appears like that’s the direction the entire Post-Operation Iraqi Freedom Middle East is heading.
To take a snapshot of the current Syrian Civil War would show not just a country, but an entire region, that is slowly collapsing into bloody conflict. Even forces that are fighting on the same side are struggling against one another; internal fighting between Assad’s government is just as common as the fighting between the rebel groups trying to overthrow him. In addition to that conflict, there’s a proxy war between the Shi’ite-aligned states and the Sunni-aligned states, and disagreements between the various countries that are financing Syria. Now, another organization has appeared — ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), and they’ve got big dreams for the fragmented region.
ISIS is a break away Al-Qaeda group that managed to take over the city of Fallujah in January and have held it against the Iraqi attempts to retake it. In recent days, they’ve also taken the major cities of Mosul and Tikrit. ISIS is engaged in fighting every other actor in the region, either by proxy war, directly, diplomatically, or other forms that don’t involve bullets and guns. Think Progress attempted to map out the confusion that has since engulfed the region, including non-regional actors like the United States:
All the major names in Middle Eastern politics are on that list, including the three major regional powers — Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. Out of this cluster emerges ISIS, which recently managed to liberate as much as $400 million from banks in Mosul, in addition to US-made arms, armor, vehicles, and aircraft, which they got after capturing an airport. ISIS also managed to free a number of prisoners detained in Mosul’s prisons, swelling their numbers. A handful of terrorism exports suggest that ISIS may well be on their way to creating their own state.
Of course, this has a steep cost for ISIS — they’ve made enemies with everyone else in the region. Even groups that are busy killing one another are in communication to act against ISIS; for instance, according to ThinkProgress:
In its fight against everyone else for the future of Syria, ISIS has definitely made itself some enemies. And in a conflict where actors are working together even as they try to kill each other, a common enemy is something that can be exploited. When consulting with CAP experts on the connections drawn in a rough draft of this chart, ThinkProgress was actually told that it needed to be more complex. In particular, the chart above is accurate in that the main groups within Syria fighting against Assad — Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic Front, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and ISIS — are all fighting against each other. But the FSA and the Islamic Front also are in direct communication with each other in planning attacks against ISIS, sharing a communications center to launch their strikes, even as just miles away members of the Front attack FSA fighters and take over warehouses of Free Syrian Army supplies.
According to Maysoon al Damlouji, a secular Sunni politician, “The disaster is that Iraqis are fighting on both sides of the Syria conflict.” The other countries in the region — Jordan and Lebanon — are currently trying to figure out how to send aid to Baghdad while Iran is calling for international aid and the United States mulls a potential response. Meanwhile, the region turns and turns in the widening gyre of civil war, things fall apart, and anarchist is loosed upon the world in a blood-dimmed tide.
More From AATTP On The Middle East War
- Teapublican: Iraq Was The Smartest Thing George Bush Ever Did (Video)
- Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Used 9/11 As Pretext To Enrich Haliburton (Video)
- Bill O’Reilly Confronts Dick Cheney On Iraq War: ‘What Did We Really Get Out Of It?’ (Video)
- GOP Senator Praises Syrian President For Using Chemical Weapons
- Syrian Hackers Take Over CNN’s Twitter Feed: ‘All Your Reports Are Fake’ (Images)