The threat of Daesh has been largely exaggerated, says an Israeli expert. But the assassination of its leader was a smart decision that contributed to the stabilisation of regional security.
Monday marks the first anniversary since the assassination of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the notorious leader of Daesh*, a terror group known for its ruthlessness and mass executions.
At its peak in 2014, and under his leadership, Daesh established control over vast swaths of land in Syria and Iraq, on territories of which it created a caliphate that had its own military, education institutions and even a monetary system.
Millions of Syrians and Iraqis were forced to live under that regime, and many others were facing the threat of being conquered by the terrorist organisation.
But for Dr. Eado Hecht, a military expert from the Begin-Saddat Centre for Strategic Studies, the threat of Daesh, even when it was at its peak, was largely exaggerated.
“Of course [such groups as] Al Qaeda and Daesh could organise very painful attacks outside the Muslim world, but their overall danger was over-stated. First, they were not capable of conquering and uniting the entire Muslim world under their respective banners. And, second, they were not capable of undermining any Western country or even any of the weaker states of Africa and Asia.”
Nevertheless, Hecht believes the elimination of Al Baghdadi, carried out by US forces on October 26, 2019, was a “smart” move, a decision that made…