The Eviction of ISIS from Jarabulus: A Lesson On Why ISIS Were Never a State

News has just been announced that the Turkish army, along with Syrian rebel militias, attacked and cleared a major border town controlled by ISIS within only one day’s fighting. This is despite the fact that rumours (and even pictures) of the military build-up was known two days in advance [1], giving ISIS the ability to prepare for the attack and send reinforcements.

France 24 described the result as: “the first time since the IS group declared a “caliphate” across Syria and neighbouring Iraq in June 2014 that the jihadists had given up an area under its control within just hours” [2]

In June 2014, when Mosul was strangely abandoned to ISIS (and Kirkuk to Kurdish militias), some people were confused as to whether or not ISIS had become a ‘state’. At that time, I wrote an article [3] not only demonstrating why ISIS are unIslamic in methods and teaching, but also refuting the claims that ISIS were a State. In the article I wrote:

‘If a man established shariah in his own home, estate or ‘ranch’, performing legal punishments, and having armed himself, would it be reasonable for people to conclude that he had established a state? No of course not. Why? Because his state would last only for as long as the time it took for the police to arrive.

A state, in order to fulfill the requirement of being a state, and not a mere outlaw zone, must be able to effectively protect itself to a sufficient degree from other states. If these other states choose to attack with conventional forces, the state could put up effective resistance. Of course even a superpower can be invaded and lose wars, but if the only thing that keeps an area of land from successful invasion is merely the enemy’s discretion and mood, than the ‘State’s’ control of that land is illusory at best. What’s the difference between a client state (like Hawaii, Puerto Rico or Crimea) and a state that can’t stand up to conventional warfare? The answer is, there is no difference, since if they both irk more powerful States that can project power over that area, they would be swept away in as little time it took for the enemy states to mobilise and arrive for battle’

The Turkish Army’s take over of Jarabulus demonstrates this principle. The Turkish army is a fully equipped and trained modern army. The Turkish army, simply arrived for battle at Jarabulus, and ISIS were evicted in less than a day, apparently with no Turkish casualties. This shows the difference between a STATE army, and a militia.

To those who may then argue ‘what about ISIS’s past military victories against the Syrian and Iraqi armies?’, I already wrote pre-emptively in 2014:

‘It could be argued that I.S. have effectively repelled conventional attack from the Iraqi Army. However, this is not an example of resisting a State power, but rather resisting a client State. Iraq’s Army has not been effectively rebuilt and cannot fight a conventional war, its morale is low, it is poorly trained, and ultimately depends upon the U.S. Army.’

This comment also likewise applies to the post-revolution battered, demoralised and beleaguered Syrian government forces, which have suffered from defections and depend on foreign militaries to prop them up. A real army uses combined force tactics, using massed tank, artillery and air formations that are fully trained and armed and can meet opponents on open ground and engage in set-piece battles, pushing back, checking or at least seriously delaying the advance of opposing armies.

Once again it becomes obvious how ISIS were never a state, and their armed forces were never anything more than a pretentious militia with a few captured weapons and a video editor.

Categories: NEWS COMMENTARY, Uncategorized, WRITINGS

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