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Containment of the Islamic State is Dependent upon an End to Assad's Regime

The Islamic State(IS) has taken the city of Ramadi, in Iraq. The extremist group has also taken the historic city of Palmyra, in Syria. Today, the IS controls almost half of Syria. In two countries the IS continues to wage simultaneous battles. And despite concerns by Middle East and Western nations, the group has shown no signs of abating its agitations throughout the Levant and spreading its lure to western communities. Why?

Firstly, let me disclose that I am not a person privy of any intelligence reports nor of any agreements between the clubs of nations or organizations with regards to any policies and deals concerning the Middle East or any other place. I am a lowly layman, who understands the pain, temperament, bitterness, aspirations, longings and reactions of the people.

Hence, I submit that IS will not be able to be contained as long as Bashar al Assad reigns in Damascus, Syria. The Assad regime, I submit, remains the major recruiting tool of the Islamic State. The IS has been sustained by recruits and sympathizers of whom most would cite an atrocity - a crime against humanity, committed by the Syrian regime as a pushing point to their radicalization. The voices and actions of the young people have determined that there can be no redemption of actions by the Syrian regime against civilians.

Therefore, the recruitment rolls of the IS will not dwindle as long as Bashar al Assad sits in Damascus. And while western nations rethink, redrawn and redefine strategies in response to the IS, more instances of the extremist group taking and retaking of territory and committing heinous crimes will continue as long as Assad sits in Syria.

The Associated Press(AP) on its news website today, provides a good insight into the radicalization of a couple of young men and a woman with a common theme that all had or have been affected by atrocities of the Syrian regime along their paths to radicalization. The Associated Press has provided snapshots of the lives of Moroccan, Anas Haloui; of Somali-American, Abdifatah Ahmed; of Dutch, Reda Nidalha; and of an Australian bride.

Stories of these young people, their lives, and that of many others heard recently, lead to one conclusion: Bashar Assad's regime is a major radicalization element. Thus, no peace and no stability could come to the Levant as long as Bashar al Assad sits in Damascus.

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