The scene in Dresden after Allied bombing in 1945.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Shabtai Shavit, former head of the Mossad, called on the United States and its allies to “wipe out Islamic State just as they wiped out the German city of Dresden” during the waning days of the Second World War.
During an interview with Israel Radio on Monday, Shavit said that the recent downing of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula, the suicide bombings in the southern part of Beirut, and the carnage in the French capital, indicate that ISIS has made a strategic change in their targets.
“Until now, Arabs killed Arabs and Muslims killed Muslims, particularly in Iraq and Syria,” Shavit said. “But now they have decided to start killing infidels abroad.”
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The former spymaster continued, “ISIS is an organization that has nothing to do with classical Islam. They co-opted the idea of establishing a caliphate, and that’s it. This evil needs to be destroyed. We are talking about 30,000 people, and the only thing they have in common is cruelty and a lust for murder.”
Shavit said that the scale of the destruction wrought by ISIS has not been seen “since the days when the Huns invaded central Asia and Europe” in the 5th century.
He said that the US and Europe needs to form an international coalition “that will start doing and stop talking.”
“We need to put aside all of the arguments about law and morality and all of the talk about civil liberties and privacy rights,” Shavit said.
“That means that from a practical standpoint, what needs to be done is what was done during the Second World War to Dresden.”
British and US bombers killed up to 25,000 people when they raided Dresden in 1945, between February 13 and 15, in a bid to crush German morale in the final months of World War II.
They dropped at least 3,900 tons of explosive and incendiary bombs, unleashing an inferno that melted people and reduced vast areas of the “Jewel on the Elbe” to ash and rubble.
“Dresden was erased from the map,” he said. “That’s what needs to be done in all of the territorial pockets controlled by ISIS.”
Shavit proposed that the international coalition rely on Kurdish ground forces in Iraq and Syria. He said that the West should arm Kurdish fighters with tanks and armor.
“The Kurds have proven their worth,” he said. “This is the best fighting force that is currently on the ground there. It’s been fighting, and it continues to fight, and there is cooperation between them and the Americans.”