The end of ISIS rests in the horizon


Art by Joanne Jun

Everyone has heard about ISIS and the organization’s acts of terrorism across the world, mainly targeting places with Western ideals. In recent months, however, the organization’s influence appears to be waning. There are multiple reasons why ISIS has been suffering recently, and its outlook for the future forecasts ISIS’s extinction just around the corner.

ISIS, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is a radical sect of Islam with the goal of establishing an Islamic state encompassing the Arab world. After reaching this goal, the organization’s plan is to expand outward from the Middle East to control other countries. The followers of Isis are called jihadis, and they enforce a strict educational system prohibiting music and even some sports upon the people they rule. Anything pertaining to Western culture is banned, and anyone who is caught practicing Western beliefs is beat, imprisoned or possibly even killed.

“The scariest thing about ISIS is their ability to recruit people via the internet,” said math teacher Mrs. Julie Reedy.

Although ISIS has ambitious plans, recent months have seen the compression of ISIS’s forces into a smaller area. This is due to increased attacks on ISIS from Western countries, including the United States, Canada and Great Britain. These attacks have been able to rid ISIS from parts of Iraq and Syria, significantly trimming down their area of control. In 2014, ISIS became a world threat by overrunning Mosul, according to the BBC. Now, on Nov. 1, the BBC reported that Iraqi and Kurdish fighters reached the city limits of Mosul and hope to capture one of the few remaining strategic centers for the jihadis. Since the beginning of 2015, jihadis have lost a quarter of the territory they possessed, according to a report from the IHS Conflict monitor, which included a 16% territory loss since the beginning of the year. Because of the attack on ISIS, jihadis have been focused on saving their homeland rather than spreading terrorism abroad. In addition to this, countries such as Great Britain passed laws prohibiting jihadis from entering the country. The United States has considered similar measures, and the matter is likely to be resolved when the next president, Donald Trump, steps into office. Throughout the 5 years that ISIS has existed, there have been 300,000 deaths, including 86,000 civilians, killed by the Islamic State, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The total number of deaths could be as high as 370,000 though because many times, no fatalities were reported.

As ISIS begins to lose control of Syria and Iraq due to numerous airstrikes by enemies of the Islamic State, people begin to ask the question of what a Middle East without ISIS would look like. In reality, however, terrorism will most likely continue in the Middle East and abroad, because just as ISIS replaced Al Qaeda, some new extremist group will replace ISIS. In a world so globally connected, it is nearly impossible for terrorism to vanish because certain people will always hate countries that are wealthier than them or that seem to challenge their beliefs.

“A world without terror is unlikely to ever become a reality,” said sophomore Andy Ledesma. “There will always be people who think that killing others will solve their problems and will be willing to kill large masses of civilians.”

Even though ISIS’s influence is declining, the countries most impacted by ISIS will not see major changes. These countries will still be war-torn and suffer from extreme leaders because there is no strong government set up to defend against major terrorist movements. Because of these hearths for terrorist groups, the war on terror will not make any real headway moving on past ISIS and into the next century. The only way to make real headway is if all countries combine their efforts to exterminate terrorism and invest extensive amounts of time and effort into the operation. Even if there is one small terrorist group left in the world, terrorism will still be an issue, and only once every last extremist is eradicated from the system will the world be able to put their efforts toward something besides terrorism.