World Vs. ISIS – Crucial Things to Know after Paris
It’s been roughly a week since the attack in Paris occurred that drove headlines worldwide to once more pay full attention to the plight in Syria, and the potential threat of the Islamic State. No sooner than a few hours after the seven coordinated attacks that left roughly 120 dead, did the Islamic State claim responsibility for the actions in Paris, according to the New York Times.
Other recent attacks haven’t inspired the same amount of fear internationally – the downing of a Russian airliner; the execution of Norwegian and Chinese captives; twin suicide bombings killing more than 40 in Beirut, Lebanon; the death of over a 100 in an attack in Turkey; the death of fifteen in an attack in Yemen – but it’s clear that ISIS is on everyone’s mind.
No one, however, has been affected more by ISIS than Syria. Over the course of its destabilization and its civil war, Syria has lost a quarter of a million lives, prompting the exodus of half of its remaining population, with 7.6 million refugees displaced within the country’s borders, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
After Paris, France Declares War
In response to the discovery of the involvement of the Islamic State in the attacks against Paris, French President Francois Hollande declared war and, after complying with international law, ordered the bombing of the Syrian city of Raqqa.
Activists working locally to cover the activities of ISIS notes that, while the airstrikes have had no civilian casualties, they have “not been very successful”, and that more is needed to combat ISIS, which has begun cracking down on activists even more in response to the airstrikes.
More Syrian Refugees than Any Other Kind
With millions of Syrian refugees escaping Syria, neighbouring countries Lebanon and Turkey are taking up the bulk of incoming refugees – 1.9 million in Turkey, and roughly 1.2 million Lebanon, according to Amnesty.org.
In response to the attacks in Paris, conservatives in Europe and the United States have taken the occasion to push their agenda for stricter immigration policies, and even a ban on Syrian refugees. 31 state governors in America are pushing for a bill that could undermine President Obama’s veto against anti-refugee laws, forcing the administration to go back on its statement that it would take in at least another 10,000 refugees before the end of Obama’s term. So far, the United States has taken roughly over in 2,000 refugees.
ISIS and India
According to intelligence agencies, over 100 people are being monitored closely in India, especially South India, for possible ties or sympathies for the Islamic State. One 23-year-old was stopped at an airport in Hyderabad from joining the Islamic State, and a reported 23 Indians have gone into ISIS-held Iraqi and Syrian territory to fight for the caliphate.
“I always wanted to help the refugees. And in Facebook, such videos were posted by the Islamic State,” stated the 23-year-old, referencing recruitment videos which the Islamic State spreads over social media to recruit disillusioned youth abroad. “Hence I developed interest.”
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