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    West Underestimated Jihadi Threat, Effect of US Mideast Policy: Greece PACE Delegate

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    Greece delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said Thursday that the West and Europe had failed to understand the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and the effects of US military intervention in the region.

    STRASBOURG, October 2 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova - Greece delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said Thursday that the West and Europe had failed to understand the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and the effects of US military intervention in the region.

    Theodora Bakoyannis, rapporteur on the threats against humanity posed by the Islamic State (IS) group, said the West "completely ignored" the emergence of the Islamic State movement, as well as the impact of "western, particularly the US military interventions and policy mistakes" on the Middle Eastern crisis.

    "We failed to comprehend the new Islamic fundamentalist forces, the rise of IS, for example, took Europe and the West in general totally unprepared," Bakoyannis said during a PACE sitting.

    According to the delegate, the extremism in the Middle East is thriving due to uninterrupted flow of funds and a rise in the number of supporters.

    "We must discover and dismantle rapidly two particularly dangerous channels of extremism – the sources of funds and human recruitment," Bakoyannis stressed, adding that a mechanism should be established to deal with the humanitarian crisis as well as to reconstruct the destruction in the region.

    She also noted that the crisis in Ukraine shifted the West's attention away from new threats in Muslim countries.

    Bakoyannis urged Muslim societies not to blindly adopt the Western systems, but rather discover the Islamic "heritage of compassion and benevolence so prominent in Koran, and above all the tradition of peaceful coexistence."

    Another guideline, voiced by the rapporteur, is that the governments should provide constitutional guarantees to all minorities.

    The Islamic State, which is a Sunni extremist group, has seized large parts of Syria and northern Iraq and proclaimed a caliphate on the controlled areas in June.

    Following the group's advance in northern Iraq, Washington launched a series of airstrikes against the insurgents on the Iraqi soil and extended its air campaign to Syria last week.

    The military action in Iraq and Syria is conducted within the strategy, outlined by US President Barack Obama, which involves the establishment of a broad international coalition. America"s Arab allies, as well as France and the United Kingdom, have taken part in the airstrikes targeting the IS and other militant groups in Syria.

    Tags:
    Daesh, Iraq, Jihadists, extremism, War on Terror, PACE, Theodora Bakoyannis, Greece
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