Over the course of the last week the United States has agreed to support on-going military operations in Iraq as the militia group known as the Islamic State (IS) have expanded their operations on the Iraqi Syrian border. This comes as after alleged human rights violations committed by ISIS against Christians and Yazidi minority groups in northern Iraq. The Islamic State has taken control of vast amounts of territory in northern Iraq and Syria and has implemented Sharia law in its controlled territory. Those religious minorities living in these IS controlled territories are given the ultimatum of either converting to Islam, paying a non-Muslim tax, or being murdered.
Despite the military strategy failing in IRAQ during the first and second Iraq wars, once again there is been a systematic attempt at controlling the situation inside Iraq militarily. Rather than committing airstrikes in Iraq, the United States and the wider international community needs to be more concerned with the removal of non-combatants from IS controlled areas. Internally displaced persons, and those who fear persecution by the extremist group need to be evacuated from the conflict and ISIS controlled zones and moved into refugee camps in neutral areas. War cannot be used as a mean to create peace, this strategy had failed time and again. To intervene in this conflict the United States, should only provide technical support to the Iraqi government where possible.
IS has created a state on the boarder of Iraq and Syria, and it should be left up to regional actors as well as the self-acclaimed ‘Islamic State’ itself to sure up its survival or its collapse. Although western views may lay in sharp contrast to traditional Sharia law, it is not up to foreign actors to determine its legitimacy. The only concern of the international community should be assist willing individuals to leave IS controlled territory. It is estimated that there are over 2.5 million internally displaced people in Iraq, the international community needs to be concerned about giving these people a place to go.