The plane that crashed over the Sinai on Saturday, killing 224 people on the Metrojet A321 flight has been rumoured by Downing Street to be the result of a bomb explosion carried out by the Islamic State.
The crash occurred over Sinai in the North-Western region of Egypt and, today, Downing Street are calling for a review of Egyptian airport security for fear of a terror attack on a British flight. The plane was a Russian Airbus, and considering the increasingly problematic presence of the Islamic State in Egypt, the decision to attack this flight is certainly not one of coincidence.
In order to understand this latest act of Islamic terrorism, it is necessary to analyse the causality of the Syrian conflict and how this motivates Islamic terrorism.
The conflict in Syria is a violent ocean of chaos with different geo-political players competing for dominance. The U.S and its anti-ISIS coalition have bombarded Islamic State forces in both Syria and Iraq, and Iran, through its military associate Hezbollah, has joined Assad’s forces in attacking the fundamentalists on Syrian territory. Russia has added the most recent layer of complexity in Syria by advocating its support for the Assad regime as the only means to defeat Islamic extremism; it has since sent fighter jets to both strengthen Assad’s government and to dismantle the Islamic State which makes up the majority of the Syrian ‘opposition’. In the last week, America has announced that its own special forces have engaged in operations against ISIS units and Obama has not ruled out the possibility for more military engagement with troops on the ground. America, unlike Russia, considers the solution to the civil war as including the removal of both the Assad regime and the Islamic State.
This summary paragraph of the conflict as it currently stands is to demonstrate the animosity that divides countries like America, Russia and Iran who are all involved in mediating the conflict, but who have different agendas. This form of intervention will have only one outcome – the creation of a proxy war in Syria.
Now, this uncoordinated political mess will have ramifications beyond the ruinous attack on Saturday which blew up the Russian Metrojet flight. Terrorism can never be accepted, but the polarisation of the civil war and the fragmented attempt at resolving the conflict suggests that further plane attacks are likely. Why else would Downing Street appear to be so alarmed? The percentage of British tourists in Egypt is significant and our own involvement in conducting air strikes in Iraq provides the exact justification ISIS needs to launch an attack on our own citizens.
The issue with terrorism is that it is the natural solution for ideological fundamentalists like the Islamic State. It is a trend that was initiated by Al Qaeda who efficiently created a cohesive plan that struck at the West so successfully and murderously in 2001 and 2006. It is unwise, therefore, to think that further miscalculated, military intervention in this type of conflict that involves Islamic fundamentalists will, in the long term, protect our citizens.
The Syrian Civil War has now become the physical definition of destruction. Assad’s brutal repression has devastated Syria’s socio-economic structures whilst the Islamic State has imposed, and is now reinforcing an ideology that murders non-Muslims for the sinful label ‘infidel’; additionally, it has created a contentious refugee crisis that is pressurising Europe’s economically weak Mediterranean coast and which has reaffirmed the entrenched divisions within the European Union.
If the international community seeks a peaceful and legitimate conclusion to the conflict, which is edging closer to undermining regional stability in the Middle East, political agendas must be put aside. Narcissism can not be the stimulus for diplomatic intervention.
The international community need to collectively cooperate for security and all powers involved in the Syrian conflict need to strictly re-evaluate their own agenda for the sake of their own citizens safety and that of the Syrian people.