tv Inside Story Al Jazeera July 29, 2015 5:30am-6:01am EDT
ends it's "inside story". % welcome to "inside story". i'm ray suarez. a coalition led by the u.s. and united by its desire to destroy the islamic state of iraq and levant is pounding away from the air. fresh issues fighting continues on the ground between i.s.i.l. and the syrian army, i.s.i.l. and syrian rebels, between i.s.i.l. and the kurdish peshmerga. i.s.i.s. has a lot of enemies. with each month it attracts more fighters from outside syria and iraq and supports from others rallying to its flag. i.s.i.l. looks like and acts like a real country, and a
president who came to the whitehouse saying he didn't oppose all wars, just dumb wars, trying to keep the struggle from becoming a war without end. >> reporter: it's what fbi director james comey says keeps him up at night. i.s.i.l. as a threat to the homeland eclipsed the ground behind the nvern attacks. >> nil is not your parent's al qaeda, it's a different model. and by virtue of that model it's a threat we are worried about in the homeland. >> comey says it's about social media, enabling i.s.i.l. to reach trouble soles who may be receptive to his message. directing them to attack targets like law enforcement or the military. >> what we are concerned about is crowd sourcing of lone wolf attacks, a threat that the fbi manage.
>> comey estimates i.s.i.l. has 21,000 followers, hundreds, thousands in the united states. according to comey the fbi has conducted hundreds of investigations in 50 states of i.s.i.l.-inspired attacks. critics, including mike german called the stance disingenuous. >> it's not an unhelpful way of discussing the problems, providing the public with little to evaluate the different threats or the value of the counterterrorism menus. comey has a clear and stated agenda. he wants silicon valley, congrosecon congress or both allow back doors. without it, rooting out home grown lone wolf attackers is haystack. >> the availability of technology changed the method of operation significantly.
what i.s.i.l. is able to do in terms of outreach to the american public is something al qaeda couldn't dream of doing in 2000. >> it's not a point of how the dynamic between al qaeda and i.s.i.l. changed, but about how 9/11. >> german says the rhetoric is misguided. the fear-mongering comments about i.s.i.s.'s use of social media, you can find in 2006, 2007 and 2008. al qaeda has been intend on multipronged attacks. i.s.i.l. is building what it calls an islamic state in the middle east. >> joining us. director of government
regulations, strategist for the syrian american counsel. a counterterrorism analyst for the institute for the study of war, and jim hansen, executive vice president at the center for security policy. >> let me start with you. with re closer, and i mean we, planet earth, closer than we were the night the president announced a policy in the fight against i.s.i.l., denying fighters money, territory and equipment to make war. >> we are a bit closer, we are not where we need to be. we had success in targetting i.s.i.s.'s infrastructure and fighters over the course of the past year. that's one. we haven't recognised the natures of strategy
and made a strategy. >> how is this country. >> it pay had be a distinction without existence. they are operating without a nation state. they control territory. they have as much military hardware and capabilities as a lot of nation states. i don't see a reason to make that distinction, and at this point i don't think it's helpful. what we need to do is look at what i.s.i.l. did well. they have taken territory, held it. put people under the iron sandal. and we have not taken the fight to them in any way, we being the united states, in any way that happened. we outsourced the war to people not capable of doing it. we are bringing people in to help and allowing people in to help that will not be help. specifically iran.
that will be scary, if iran becomes the force that is shock troops against i.s.i.l., we have problems. >> everything that has been described, did it contribute to conversation? >> there's a problem with the approach that the obama administration has to fighting i.s.i.s. in syria. they are working with iranians and sponsoring iraq and i.s.i.s. there's not much they are doing in theory. most of the time even the sortees conduct - jets go back to the basis. because they don't have effective spotters on the ground. they have not worked on beefing up the syrian force that can be of help with combatting i.s.i.s., they work with the kurds in some areas. there's a limit.
>> from the beginning, the difficulty of standing up a force in syria, that wasn't going to morph into an extremist difficulty. >> seven, eight months before president obama announced strikes on i.s.i.s., the syrian rebels civilians launched an armed rebellion, and dislodged i.s.i.s. for north western syria and northern syria. the regime started to rain barrel bombs on the rebels, just as they were fighting i.s.i.s., and thought they had stalled the offensive. from there, they hopped across the border, captured mosul, came back with hundreds of millions. what this administration needs to do, they need to pursue an i.s.i.l. of the first strategy as opposed to iraq, it should be an i.s.i.l. first strategy,
wherever i.s.i.l. is. >> if we look at president obama's roll out of an anti-i.s.i.l. alliance, a broad group of nations aimed at stopping the threats. when we come back, we try to answer the questions, have members lived up to their commitments, have training and commitment came to pass in an important way. has the fighting in yemen, the involvement of iran, the multiple fighting forces complicated the fight against i.s.i.l. war without end - it's "inside story".
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is a strategy relying on air strikes proving effective against an army that employed and enjoyed widespread success. my guests are with me. starting with you, jim, have the countries that promised - many of whom hate each other as much as i.s.i.l., shown up to the fight. >> no, the only ones that conducted effective operations against i.s.i.s. is the kurds. they have been effective. the baghdad government. which for all intents and purposes is a puppet of iran has denied them weapons that they promised, that the u.n. denies. now we have the iraqi government
forces leaving the field and surrendering u.s. hardware to i.s.i.s., and the kurds who could have used the hardware to good effect left high and dry. >> they hit a low point, as the iraqi army gotten better in the field in recent months? >> no, and they are not likely to. again, what iraqi soldiers, majority shi'a, what does he have to give dying, to save sunni civilians. i.s.i.l. operates in anbar, sunni areas. the shia army and militia and irani forces don't have advantage to go and fight there. the others are the only ones with the dog in the fight. >> you have identified what you see as the shortcomings in the syrian strategy. is the battle frond different there to iraq.
>> it's different. completely different. the kurdish component. there's a limit, unlike peshmerga in iraq. there's a limit do where and how much territory the kurdish can transgress. they are divided among themes. other kurds are opposed to them. there's a limit. in some areas, i.s.i.s. upgrades in sunni areas. and you need to work with those sunnis in the areas. who are locked in. unless you do that, you can only clear a small strip, but not be able to push them back. the problem with us is we have an approach that
is different. where the islamic state of iraq and syria - we don't recognise the borders, we demolished them. the situation in the white house, they exist on paper. >> are we seeing limits of what you can do from the air. there have been hundreds, thousands of sortees, can you defeat anyone from the air? >> no, we have seen the limits of what air power alone can do. we are getting to a point where with the fall of ramadi, there was an administration that you can't get anywhere without the ground forces. we are seeing the iraqi security forces making small gains and the u.s. coalition is backing them. they are the opportunities, i think, that the u.s. needs to capitalize on. they need to lean in to supporting iraqi security forces
and rebels travelling at a snail's ways. >> what about the software of modern terror fighting, smashing historical priceless artefacts, destroying archeological sites, defacing symbols of national identity. does that stuff, and boko haram announcing that it's an ally with the united states. is that important. is it sort of symbolism that ground. >> it's vitally important. the deficiency led from the coalition is a failure to understand that i.s.i.s. is undergoing a strategy. all that it is announcing is not propaganda efforts. it helps i.s.i.s. but at the end of the day it's part of i.s.i.s.'s efforts to make sure if it losses train
within iraq and syria, it will be able to survive. it is a place where we are ultimately going to find ourselves. are those eventually teams for i.s.i.l. boko haram al-shabab and others. they are a transcontinental. if you said that five years ago, the problem is as long as the black flag is planted in iraq and syria, they'll be a recruiting mecca to use a term that is unfair to the real mecca. i think the bottom line is we mention who were the ground troops, who defeated the precursor for i.s.i.s. the anbar awakening was an effective use of the local tribes who know the terrain and people, and defeated them once. the baghdad government will not allow that, they don't want armed sunni forces when it goes
against the iranian led mast evers wishes. we have the two most effective fighting forces that take i.s.i.s. out in iraq, the kurds and sunni tribes, sidelined because the iranians don't want them running. it's a disgrace, and something we should do something about. >> if you follow the rise against i.s.i.s., you remember the key border down. thousands of refugees pulled into turkey, there was a lot of speculation about what turkey was up to, what an n.a.t.o. member, rich, powerful muslim democracy - would it stand by and watch the region descend into chaos. turkey is in the fight. using it to fight i.s.i.l. and attack kurdish enemies. war without end, it's the "inside story".
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i.s.i.l. free zone. it covers the threat on the border. once established. it will be a safe place for the millions of refugees in turkey. the obama says it will not create a no-fly zone and sources say they have not agreed on who will do the fighting on the ground. experts say it's unlikely there'll be enough u.s. trained own. >> the opposition to the regime doesn't have the military capacity for some of the extremists that they would not want in the border. >> the united states, other arab countries are too far away and will not provide the military presence. it comes down to the turkish military guaranteeing that a zone would be free of i.s.i.s. >> turkey started to bomb p.k.k. in iraq, days after they announced the u.s. could use
their base to launch attacks, leaving some to question if they are connected. >> i understand the coincidence of all of this. it is just that. attacks against the p.k.k., retaliation, attacks they, the turks indurd. >> reporter: the pentagon says they could have an agreement in the next few weeks, saying they want to create a safe zone, and who will do the fighting to create one. >> jim hanson from the center for security. the institute for the study of war, and mohammed from the syrian american council are with me as we turn to the latest developments. and the stepped up involvement in turkey, which mohammed seems to have god control as much as to go after kurdish enemies. >> let's be honest, turks feel
threatened because of the forces receiving close support from the americans, and it emboldened plans for recession. we do have fans we know for a sure, because we spoke with a lot of them. informally. the turks would not like to see, you know, those kurdish forces breakaway like - especially the towns and villages that are controlled in syria, the territory is spread out. they'd need to displace a lot of arabs. kurds are fighting against turkey against the joint enemy in the "ultimate 8." >> there's a limit to -- to the islamic state. >> there's a limit. they said they could not go to raqqa, we will only fight in our areas. we are talking mainly with some parts of northern syria and
north-eastern syria. eventually, this would be overwhelming. that would be effective strategy. what you need, what you need to do is you need to work on the kurds, continue to work with the kurds, and you need to recognise that syria has vast territory. you need to work with the rebels, and locked into better fighting. you need to do something about the barrel bombs that rains on them. if bashar al-assad is continues to weaken the forces fighting i.s.i.s., we'll continue to compromise the fight. >> will we look at this as a turning point in the war, or is it really more about turkish domestic needs? >> i think the answer can be yes to both. i hope that turkey will follow through on it. efforts now to clampdown on
the border and use i.s.i.s. to get their supplies across. an effort would have blows on i.s.i.s., and a bigger effect on the coalition air strikes. what was turkey doing for the last 18 months. >> really, letting i.s.i.s. and other groups go across the border as they wished. it worked for turkey, they were targetting bashar al-assad in a way that benefitted turkey's strategic objective. >> this is not a side on side war, and never has been. it's a triangular war. >> it's probably whatever the biggest number you want to go with. there's so many sides, it's hard to tell. the sad part is the deal the united states made for the use of the air base seems to have been premised on throwing the kurds under the bus. obama is prone to doing that. >> some kurds or all kurds? >> okay, in this case...
>> not waging to split hairs, but there's a distinction. >> i don't know that turkey will limit it to that. and i don't know that their efforts are significant to justify what we have done. we had an ally in the region. we have put them at rick. if they make the -- them at risk. if they make the distinction, it's the bad kurds. they don't make the distinction. we are throwing an ally under the bus for a negligible gain in the fight against i.s.i.s., turkey is not going in to shut the area down. >> i don't think i.s.i.s. is a free zone. to have a zone, you need turkey on board. it's not significant. i think it's quite significantly. the americans are not willing to contribute ground forces. you need the turks. you need the turks and the syrian opposition, and the kurdish forces. the turkish minister of foreign affairs said the militias are outside the scope of the operation.
they bombed the camp for them, wounding four of their members. they have not identified that - they have not identified them as a targht. yet they bombed the p.k.k. >> does turkey's entry bring the ind of the war closer? >> yes. >> yes. >> jim? >> absolutely not. >> well, we didn't a counterterrorism analyst and author of "i.s.i.s.'s global strategy a war game" and a director of government relations in the syrian council, and executive vice president for the center of security problem, great to is have you all on "inside story". i'll be with you in a moment, where a war without end could lead. stay with us, it's "inside story".
we have to focus on how we bridge that. >> a lot of innocent lives are still being lost. >> protestors are gathering... >> there's an air of tension right now... >> the crowd chanting for democracy... >> this is another significant development... >> we have an exclusive story tonight, and we go live... does syria go back to being one nation with the government running the country.
after taking a part to expel islamic state fighters, will the kurds say "you're welcome", head back to their regions and not ask for more autonomy. does iran have ambitions with heavy investments, and saudis not satisfied with an end to the hot wars. or does it end with score settling and blood-letting put to the side for the moment. the region's eventual outcomes are different, if you look at the wish lifts in foreign ministries in tehran, cairo, ankara and doha. on the worst days it looks like terrible fighting in syria and iraq is a dress rehearsal for a show down that has been postponed. i'm ray suarez, that's the "inside story".
. >> announcer: this is al jazeera. hello, welcome to the newshour. from doha coming up in the next 60 minutes - pakistani police shoot dead the leader of the banned group lashkar-e-jhangvi which carried out attacks on shia muslims the nigerian president goes to cameroon to talk about the fight against boko haram. live from north-east nigeria n.a.t.o. says i