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MOSCOW, August 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The world would not have faced a real threat of radical Islamism coming from terrorist group Islamic State if the West had not backed the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ in the Middle East in 2010-2012, president of the Moscow Institute of the Middle East Yevgeny Satanovsky said.
“The most dangerous after-effect of the Arab Spring is the creation of the terrorist group Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. This has already taken under its control a considerable territory of Iraq and some part of Syria,” Satanovsky told Itar-Tass.
As a result of an upsurge of demonstrations and coups which sparked in the Arab world on December 18, 2010, state coups were staged in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen alongside civil wars in Libya and Syria, civil rebellion in Bahrain, massive riots in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco and Oman and less significant protests in Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Djibouti and West Sahara. Revolutions resulted in toppling four heads of state.
“Iraq's government raised the alarm and called for military aid because a split is really threatening the country," the expert said. "Probably the Islamists would not dare to capture Baghdad because Shiites make a majority in the capital. But Islamic State leaders can quite likely infiltrate several thousand terrorists into Baghdad and those will blast the city from the inside,” he added.
Even Iran came to help Iraq, sending thousands of fighters from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to Baghdad. Meanwhile, Moscow has signed contracts with Baghdad to deliver weapons and military hardware totalling $1 billion, including supplies of Grad multiple-launch rocket systems, heavy flamethrowers Solntsepek, self-propelled howitzers Msta-B and ammunition. These deals are larger than supplies from the United States.
“The US left Iraq to sink or swim as they did with Afghanistan,” Satanovsky said. "Shortly after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the current developments in Iraq will recur in that country, if no worse. Obama already stated that Iraq should ensure its security by itself."
“Any US aid to the Iraqi authorities is late at least by a year. Meanwhile, Barack Obama already stated that US ground forces would not return to Iraq, only if they helped evacuate American diplomats and officials of oil corporations from the country."
“I hope that the Iraqi government headed by newly appointed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will prevent civil war from escalating. But for this, countries in the Middle East and the West should give more effective support to him,” Satanovsky added.
“US warplanes are delivering pinpoint strikes on positions of Islamic radicals," he went on. "But does it make any difference where several dozens of bombs will be dropped, symbolizing that Americans that they have their finger on the pulse? This will not stop Islamists."
“The Islamic State group has issued a video address with threats against the US. Gunmen said they will attack Americans everywhere if US air bomb strikes cause losses among Islamist militants. Americans have suffered a crucial defeat in a real war against radical Islam.”
“The ‘Arab Spring’ is coming back to the US like a boomerang," the expert said. "The US, with the backing of their NATO allies, has overthrown Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi in Iraq and Libya. After that, leaders of dangerous Islamist groups which can sink the Middle East in blood and pose a terrorist threat to many countries in the world have come to the forefront. The situation in the region is highly volatile."
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