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    This is Why Sending 100,000 NATO Troops to Syria Won't Help to Defeat Daesh

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    Former Foreign Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman has urged NATO to send 100,000 troops to Iraq and Syria to root out terrorism in the Middle East once and for all, but this plan, experts say, is "completely illogical and unrealistic."

    Lieberman, the leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, made the comments following the suicide bombings in Brussels. Daesh, which maintains its grip on parts of Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the terrorist acts that left more than 30 people dead.

    Rescue workers in yellow vests gather at the Place de la Bourse to pay tribute to the victims of Tuesday's bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, March 25, 2016.
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    Rescue workers in yellow vests gather at the Place de la Bourse to pay tribute to the victims of Tuesday's bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, March 25, 2016.

    "Instead of dewatering the swamps, [European authorities] suggest chasing mosquitos. This fuss has zero chance of success," the politician observed. "If we dewater the wetlands, the mosquitos will disappear. If we destroy the source of terror, terror will vanish."

    A working strategy to deal with Daesh, according to Lieberman, would entail sending 100,000 NATO soldiers to eradicate militant strongholds in Mosul, Raqqa and other cities.

    Former Russian diplomat Vyacheslav Matuzov, who heads the Russian Business Cooperation and Friendship Society, called Lieberman's plan "completely illogical and unrealistic." 

    "The existing strategy aimed at defeating Daesh is the correct one. It has already paid off – terrorists are losing. The Syrian city of Palmyra has almost been freed. Damascus-led forces are advancing towards Raqqa. In Iraq, liberating Mosul is on the agenda," he told Svobodnaya Pressa.

    Indeed, Daesh, thanks in no small part to Russia's military engagement in Syria, has sustained major losses. In fact, latest reports from Syria indicate that Damascus-led forces and their allies have pushed militants out of Palmyra in what is a major loss for the group.

    Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft leave Hmeimim airbase in Syria
    Russian Defense Ministry
    Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft leave Hmeimim airbase in Syria

    Earlier this month, the IHS Conflict Monitor reported that the self-proclaimed caliphate had shrunk by 22 percent in the last 15 months. Daesh, the analysts said, is "increasingly isolated and being perceived as in decline." The Russian and US-led military campaigns have also largely destroyed Daesh's oil infrastructure, leaving the group without its key revenue source.

    Matuzov also noted that all those involved in the anti-Daesh campaign should also focus their counterterrorism efforts on those countries where the group could try to gain a foothold, particularly Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen. These countries have been plagued by sectarian violence for years – a fertile soil for a terrorist group that is capable of exploiting local grievances.

    The world, according to Syrian international relations scholar Abbas Dzhuma, has already seen what happens after thousands of US or NATO soldiers are deployed to a Middle Eastern country.

    "NATO forces were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. What's the outcome? Have those countries been rid of terrorists? NATO has claimed that it would defeat Islamic terrorism in the world, but there are no positive implications," he told Svobodnaya Pressa.

    Topic:
    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

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    Tags:
    Islamic extremism, radical Islam, Russian aerial campaign, counterterrorism, Syrian conflict, NATO, Daesh, Avigdor Lieberman, Iraq, Syria
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