US president Donald Trump gloated after the alleged killing of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Sunday.
Trump said the apparent killing—carried out by US forces in northern Syria—meant the “world is now a much safer place”. And British prime minister Boris Johnson said it was “an important moment in our fight against terror”.
Yet the horror and misery that gave rise to Isis has only got worse.
Isis grew in an Iraqi society smashed by the US’s invasion in 2003. It spread across Syria thanks to a civil war that was caused by dictator Bashar al-Assad’s counter-revolution. And it was fuelled by competing powers who piled in with military “support” for various armed groups.
The US used the war against Isis to try and take control of Syrian territory.
And last week Trump said US soldiers would stay in Syria to take control of Syria’s oil fields—keeping them out of the hands of Assad and his supporter, Russia.
It means that although Isis is all-but defeated for the moment, the imperial conflict tearing Syria apart could unleash new, worse horrors.