UK lawmakers: Suppression of Islamic State more realistic than elimination

February 5, 2015 02:16
1 minute read.

LONDON - Containing Islamic State may be a more realistic strategy than defeating it, a committee of British lawmakers said, calling on Britain to play a greater role in the fight against the militants in Iraq and Syria.

Britain has so far taken part in US-led air strikes against the Islamist group in Iraq, but not Syria. It has also provided some equipment and training for Kurdish forces.

Parliament's defense committee said in a report released on Thursday that these actions were "strikingly modest," with on average less than one air strike a day, and said it was "surprised and deeply concerned" Britain was not doing more.

The Iraqi security forces are weak and lack resources, the committee said, while the country's communities are divided and regional powers remain deeply suspicious of each other.

"There is a significant gap between the rhetoric of Britain and its partners, and the reality of the campaign on the ground ... It will be very difficult to destroy DAESH," the report said, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

"Given the deep polarization and structural weaknesses of the Iraqi state, we wonder whether containment and suppression of DAESH would not be a more realistic goal than total elimination."

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