As the bloody events of Friday demonstrated, Isis has become a threat far beyond the borders of its so-called “Islamic State”.
Yet one year on from its declaration of a caliphate, the international community seems no closer to forming a strategy to combat the militant group’s rampant rise.
Here, we ask nine of the leading authorities on terror in the Middle East just who has the power to defeat Isis – if that’s even possible – and how it can be done.
Charlie Winter is an analyst with the counter-extremism think-tank Quilliam
In Iraq’s case the answer is training. Secular forces need to lead the fight, in preference to Hashd. It’s not easy, because the militias are better trained and more disciplined. But for Iraq to emerge from all this it is all about training, discipline, and weeding corruption out of the military and political systems.
But a lot more difficult than that is Syria, and President Bashar al-Assad. There seems to still be an appetite in the West to work with him – a sense that he is more palatable than Isis. But that is profoundly wrong, and he has very cleverly played the international community.
He is responsible for the deaths of 200,000 people, and while Isis is more globalist, it has killed only a fraction of that number. As long as Assad is using chlorine gas, barrel bombs on schools and hospitals, and routinely executing and disappearing people, then groups like Isis are going to flourish.