Battle for last IS stronghold
With the support of the US, Kurdish-Arab units are leading an operation to take the last stronghold held by the IS. Around 600 IS fighters are estimated to have withdrawn to the area surrounding the village of Baghuz in eastern Syria, where some of them are putting up fierce resistance. Will the terrorist group soon be a thing of the past?
The danger has not been banished
There can be no talk of this being a victory over the IS, writes deputy editor Gianluca Di Feo in La Repubblica:
“Military success has led people to forget the causes that led to the birth and rise of the caliphate. The regime's corruption, the sectarian feuds between Shiites and Sunnis, the poverty of a very young population, the lack of education options and development have disappeared from the international debate. What has been destroyed today can be resurrected in a few months. Because the Middle East is in exactly the same state as on the day when the first black flag was hoisted - without an alternative to radical Islam's message.”
Militia will go underground
Even if the last stronghold of the IS is taken that won't be the end of the militant organisation, Új Szó predicts:
“Although the IS has been driven into a tiny area its influence in the region can still be felt. Think of Iraq, where the caliphate was officially defeated in 2017, yet the terrorist network is still active today and has repeatedly carried out attacks even in heavily protected regions. ... Then there's the factors which led to the creation of the caliphate, which still haven't been removed. The rise of the Islamists in 2013 was a result of the shattered state of Iraq and Syria. Not much has changed in this respect.”