Global Smackdown (11/18)



Kelsey Hanson

Who: Daesh (otherwise known as ISIS)

Where: Beirut, Lebanon

When: Friday, November 12, 2015 

What: Terrorists attacks which resulted in the death of 43 civilians 

How: Suicide bombings

So What?: The recent attacks carried out by ISIS in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad left many disappointed at the disproportional coverage given to Paris at the expense of Beirut and Baghdad. However, ignoring the purely humanitarian concerns regarding the unequal airtime and global response surrounding the attacks, the terrorist activities in Beirut signal a new tactical strategy on the part of ISIS and a new international approach to fighting the terrorist group. The Islamic State claimed the Beirut attacks and stated that they were directly carried out against Hezbollah, a militant group set up in support of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s regime. Targeting Hezbollah in Beirut was ISIS’s first overt act of retaliation against military involvement in Syria. Prior to these recent attacks, ISIS’s threats, as they existed on a global scale, seemed to be only rhetoric, but the Beirut attacks point to a more definitive (and expansive) strategy. Targeting those involved in Syria also means that other countries, such as the United States and Russia, as their military presence in Syria grows, could be potential targets for the Islamic State. As a whole, these recent attacks in Beirut (and Paris and Baghdad) signal a shift in the war against ISIS. The efforts against the Islamic State are transitioning from a fragmentary international presence, whose operations exist almost solely in Syria and the surrounding area, to a more definitive global endeavor, made up of an emerging unified and international front whose battleground is no longer exclusively on Middle Eastern soil. 

*Global Smackdown is a 23-minute forum facilitated by Dr. Tim Horner every Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Corr Lounge.