Why did DAESH conduct the Paris attacks?

Published 20.11.2015 02:04

It can be assumed that those who organized the attacks in Paris were attempting to create a certain impression. They presumably did not want the incidents to be similar to other terrorist attacks because they carried them out to a non-ignorable degree. They wanted the attacks to be a milestone and wanted them to be perceived as an overt declaration of war. The outcomes conformed to the goals. French President François Hollande declared that France is at war and sent war aircraft to Raqqa almost immediately. Did DAESH organize the incidents on its own? It is possible to think DAESH acted alone if we assume that their self-confidence climbed to a pathological degree through ideological indoctrination. But on the other hand, it is known that the senior leadership of DAESH comprises of people that were Saddam Hussein's former Baath commanders, who are expected to act rationally in terms of military strategy.

Consequently, the main question to be asked is: If you were in the DAESH administration, would you support an operation that would ally and activate the Western world against you? Over the last few years, the main cause of DAESH's growth has been the hesitation of Western states. Through the West's stance, DAESH survived, came into prominence and projected its power even though it had no place to hide its weapons - and in some cases no weapons to hide at all - all while oil refineries were defenseless in the face of aerial attacks. For instance, it is known that they occasionally negotiate with the Assad regime, and condone each other reciprocally as a result of the negotiations. Likewise, it has been recently revealed that DAESH and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) made agreements with regards to the allocation of land. According to this, while certain areas were transferred from DAESH to the PYD, a new space was opened to DAESH in a different region. In brief, DAESH is today a highly influential force in Syria and Iraq. As long as the West does not intervene, it is evident that it will reinforce its position, consolidate itself in sociological terms, and have a share in a possible allocation as a figure having a say in the future of the Middle East. Why would DAESH make a move to provoke the West into a war in the Middle East when it faces such a promising future?

So, when viewed through a rational lens, there is no advantage to be gained by such an operation. However, this reasoning does not require the terrorist attacks to have been carried out by DAESH, or making grotesque assertions such as saying it is backed by the West. But it leads to a further question: If this series of attacks do not favor DAESH, then are there any other groups that can possibly benefit from this? Does the growth of the war in the Middle East favor anyone in terms of their long-term interests? Could it create a good bargaining position for someone if it drags the West into a war and then explain to them how they could get rid of this trouble? Who wins from the increasing number of countries entering the conflict and the growth of the war's intensity?

Theoretically, there are two alternative possibilities: One is an player that is about to be erased from the political scene in the current conditions, but can stay alive if the scale of the war grows. The other one is an actor whose presence in the Middle East would not be possible in the long run if the current small scale continues, but it can be influential in the region if the scale grows. Interestingly, there are two actors corresponding to these descriptions: Assad and Russia... We cannot argue that the terrorist attacks were conducted by them. But when we consider the scale of their intelligence organizations, I am not sure whether we can say that they had not known what was going to happen beforehand.

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