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Islamic State Must Be Stopped Before It Spreads - Former CIA Officer

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The Islamic State (IS) militants who have overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria must be stopped before they push into other Middle East nations, former CIA official Graham Fuller told RIA Novosti Friday.

NEW YORK, August 29 (RIA Novosti) – The Islamic State (IS) militants who have overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria must be stopped before they push into other Middle East nations, former CIA official Graham Fuller told RIA Novosti Friday.

“It is impossible to ignore the military momentum of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Such a movement cannot now be allowed, as a military force, to seize Baghdad or the Kurdish capital of Erbil,” said Fuller, who served in the region and wrote “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East.”

“Can something even worse than the IS come into being in the next generation of fighters? Hard to believe, but the cancer indeed can spread further, out of the immediate war zones of Iraq and Syria and into places like Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Conditions could be ripening for just that," the former CIA official underlined.

US President Barack Obama has been criticized for dithering against IS since Thursday, when he acknowledged that: “We don’t have a strategy yet” to deal with the jihadists.

Earlier in August, the United States authorized airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and reportedly is mulling the same in Syria.

IS, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), is a jihadist group which was originally composed of a variety of Sunni insurgent groups and had close ties with al-Qaeda. IS militants have been fighting alongside the other rebel groups against the government forces in the Syrian civil war, before launching an offensive in Iraq in June 2014. Later that month, IS announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories that had fallen under its control. The IS offensive forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

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