As I’m sure everyone knows, the USA and four Arab nations have launched airstrikes at both ISIL and Al Qaeda-affiliated targets inside Syria. There have been so many media reports that I have only included one report which is just hours old as of the writing of this post. When I went to bed last night, the media reports made these attacks sound like a true strategic, mass bombing raid had been executed. This morning it is clear that is not what happened. Apparently only 22 airstrikes were carried out and that total may include the cruise missiles which were fired from two US Navy ships. That is hardly “shock and awe.”
However, there is good news in this attack, and it needs to be acknowledged. This first piece of good news is that President Obama crossed the Syrian border to hit ISIL in that nation. This sends a message to ISIL that it has no safe haven, and it was a valuable message to send. Also, the US warplanes were accompanied by the warplanes of four Arab nations (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Bahrain). Qatar is cited as being part of this coalition, but its contribution is unclear. Obtaining the participation of these four Sunni Arab nations was vital to make this raid geopolitically effective. If only 22 airstrikes were made, one does wonder how many bombing missions were actually carried out by warplanes from each of the Arab nations. Even if it was only one mission each, their participation has enormous symbolic meaning. It seems evident that these nations will continue to be part of future bombing raids, but the extent of their future participation is not yet known.
I saw on a cable news program that ISIL is making perhaps $5 million a day via selling oil from Syrian oil wells and refineries. Obviously, the air war won’t do serious damage to ISIL until the USA and its allies end the oil revenues flowing to ISIL. Did any of the air raids hit tanker trucks hauling ISIL oil exports to Turkey? Are there facilities we can bomb to end ISIL’s flow of money? It can’t be that hard to hit oil facilities and/or pipelines that ISIL is using. Does the USA have the will to do it is the real question. Turkey seems to be the oil expediter for ISIL as well as a willing transit point for foreign fighters coming to join ISIL or other terrorist groups. Turkey’s role so far is more than disappointing. They have also refused to allow US warplanes to attack ISIL from nearby Turkish airports. Now that Turkey’s hostages previously held by ISIL have been freed, it is time for Turkey to act like an ally of the good guys instead of the bad guys in the region.
In the link below, it is mentioned that ISIL’s “headquarters” locations were part of the targets of this raid. That makes me think that at least some of the missions were intended to kill the leadership of ISIL. Whether they were successful in taking out ISIL’s leadership or not remains to be seen.
I will confess that a few days ago I thought that it was more likely that Sunni Arab nations would join the USA in an attack vs. ISIL. My reason was seeing on a cable TV news program that the self-proclaimed, Islamic “caliph” of ISIL demanded that the leaders of all Islamic nations regard him as their superior. Talk about egomania! I was quite sure the crowned and elected heads-of-state of all Islamic states had no desire to allow ISIL’s “caliph” to make such claims against their statuses. When the “caliph” of ISIL declared himself above all other Islamic heads-of-state, I was fairly sure that those heads-of-state would take action to get rid of ISIL’s “caliph” before his appeal spread any further.
In conclusion, I was heartened to see that this initial raid inside Syria occurred, but I’m still waiting for a serious strategic bombing strike vs. ISIL to occur. I think many nations are waiting to see if the USA’s determination to take out ISIL is real or not yet. Pinprick strikes which don’t even take out ISIL’s oil-shipping abilities will not demonstrate an all-out commitment by the USA to actually defeat ISIL. I think many nations are waiting to see some real “shock and awe” before joining any military alliance vs. ISIL. I also saw an interview with former Ambassador John Bolton on Fox News in which he raised a concern that Obama’s decision to do at least a few air strikes vs. ISIL in Syria was prompted more by the Democrats’ need to “make something happen” before the US mid-term elections than any desire to really defeat ISIL.
Prophetically, the fact that four or five Sunni Arab nations joined this US bombing raid does have meaning. As I’ve noted in previous posts, “Ishmael” (the modern Arabs) are not mentioned as being part of the final Gog-Magog coalition that will be led by Russia, China and Iran. That indicates they will ultimately be aligned with the western nations led by the modern nations of the ten tribes of Israel in the end of this age. If that terminology sounds jarring to new readers, I suggest you read my article, The USA in Biblical Prophecy, as a good starting point for understanding the history and locations of the modern ten tribes of Israel. Many free articles and audio messages are also available at my website explaining this topic. The most in-depth examination of this topic is found in my books on the history and modern locations of the ten tribes of Israel. Four in-print books and one E-book on this subject can be ordered via my website.