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Sat Jul 26, 2014, 06:43 AM

Very good short article on the problems facing Isis' "Caliphate" goals.

By Gwynne Dyer,Author, Historian & Independent Journalist, who is very familiar with the Middle East.

So much for the fantasy. Whatís the reality? A group of jihadis have seized a big chunk of eastern Syria and western Iraq, erased the border between them, and declared an Islamic State. As little as ten thousand strong only a month ago, they have been rapidly growing in numbers as ISISís success attracts new recruits Ė but they are obviously never going to reconquer India, Spain or Siberia.

They arenít going to make a dent in the two powerful states to the north of their Islamic State either. Iran, being overwhelmingly Shia, is immune to their charms and far too big to take by force. Turkey, although now governed by an Islamic party, is still a modern, secular state that is much too strong to attack.
To the west and east ISIS is already at war with regimes that are either very tough (Bashar al- Assadís war-hardened dictatorship in western and central Syria) or very Shia (the south-eastern slice of Iraq, densely populated and with a large Shia majority). The Islamic Stateís central position between its two enemies gives it a strategic advantage, but not a decisive one.

To the south are desert frontiers with more promising territory. Jordanís population is about two-thirds Palestinian, and even among the Bedouin tribes that are the mainstay of King Abdullahís rule there was some enthusiasm for ISISís victory in Iraq. If Jordan fell, the Islamic State would reach right up to Israelís borders, with incalculable consequences.

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