Expert warns Syria about to fall into ISIS hands

According to Doctor Natasha Underhill, an expert on terrorism in the Middle East from Nottingham Trent University in the UK, the Islamic State could be on the verge of a breakthrough in Syria.

The lecturer at Nottingham Trent University told Express.co.uk that ISIS militants seized huge phosphate mines depriving the Syrian regime of a desperately-needed revenue source. She added that the latest development puts Syria on the verge of disintegration.

It’s really a power play for Islamic State. The mines are one of the last things Syria could make money from. It will push the state closer towards failure which is now almost inevitable. Syria is at crisis point. It’s already seen as a crisis state. We are just one or two more key events away from failure as we know it. With the situation as it is we could wake up tomorrow and the whole state would have changed.

But Syria will only be the beginning. Dr Underhill said if Syria falls into hands of ISIS it will give the terrorists more legitimacy in the eyes of those in the region and encourage similar Islamic extremist groups to pledge their support, much as Boko Haram has in Africa.

Islamic State has a political strand to their organisation and when it moves into an area sets up local government-type institutions. […] Once ISIS takes over a significant piece of land – and we’ve seen this in Afghanistan where the Taliban took over 90 per cent of the country – then that gives them legitimacy – not in the wider world but in the direct area, which is their target audience. […] While ISIS has shown it is willing to focus on a core area rather than seek to expand at a vast rate, neighbouring Jordan should still be aware of the likelihood of an invasion.

Underhill has unwittingly also highlighted the complete failure of the Clean Break strategy.

Commonly known as the “Clean Break” report [A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm], is a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli premier.

The report explained a new approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East, advocating an aggressive new policy including the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and the containment of Syria by engaging in proxy warfare and highlighting its possession of “weapons of mass destruction”.