UK can’t beat ISIL in Syria, Iraq with current strategy

Britain’s strategy to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is “necessary but not sufficient” and the country needs a “grand strategy” instead, according to British lawmakers from the House of Commons Defense Committee.

In a report into U.K. military operations in in the two countries released Wednesday, the MPs said Britain’s current strategy of air strikes in the region was helping, but more needed to be done.“Assuming Daesh is squeezed out of both countries, we have to focus too on what happens next — both in other countries to which Daesh may migrate, and in Syria especially where there is no shortage of other Islamist groups, just as dangerous, which are planning to take control,” the committee’s head Julian Lewis said in a statement. Daesh is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State or ISIL militant group.

While in Iraq “air operations have been effective in reclaiming territory,” progress in Syria is more uncertain, the committee said. In Syria, the U.K.’s goal of having a government that is neither authoritarian nor Islamist “cannot be achieved by military means alone,” according to the report.

MPs also criticized the British government’s lack of transparency, accusing it of failing to provide statistical information on airstrikes and a list of the groups it supports in Syria. This could “undermine the government’s assertion that the bombing campaign in Syria is in support of credible moderate ground forces,” MPs said.

Author: Hortense Goulard


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