The Islamic State militants continue to advance despite the increased threat of US and Arab airstrikes in key territories by using a mix of persuasion and violence. The Islamic State’s agenda has appealed to many Sunni Muslims who find an absence of leadership in their order. Despite eliminating other Sunni Muslim groups in opposition, majority of Sunnis still believe in the Islamic State.
According to Syrian Province Journalist and Political Analyst Ibrahim Hamidi, the Islamic State is hijacking legitimate demands. Without international action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a solidified Sunni union alternative to the IS, the extremists will still continue to gain support.
According to Hamidi, this was what makes the Sunni Muslims dangerous. He described that defeating the IS needs a comprehensive approach.
Assad still remains in power in Syria and is backed by Iran and Hezbollah. The US finds half-hearted allies in the Iraqi Shiite-led government and Iranian-backed militias.
Hamidi said that for every Sunni Muslim now affected by the sectarian polarisation, there is a little Islamic State militant believing in the group.
The US is targeting rival Sunni insurgent groups and the Iraqi leadership as the ones who could combat the Islamic State in Syria. The US steers clear from the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front, who openly condemned the Islamic State.