Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), notorious for their bloody attacks in the Middle East, have taken over parts of Mosul. Iraqi central government security forces, numbering about 1.5 million, could not resist the radical Islamist units. It is also reported that ISIL militants attacked a prison in Mosul's Badush district and released al-Qaeda and ISIL militants.
According to sources in the region, an atmosphere of panic prevails in the city and a curfew has been declared. Fearing a possible massacre by ISIL and a counter attack by the central government, locals in Mosul are escaping to the borders of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ruled by Massoud Barzani.
Meanwhile, Barzani announced that they are ready to welcome refugees. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government is waiting for the intervention of the U.S., and also expecting de facto assistance from the KRG, with which Maliki's government has tense relations.
It is not possible to regard this attack by ISIL as an ordinary move to expand their areas of control. Also, ISIL is not hiding its aim of invading all of Mosul, which has rich oil reserves.
In this picture, it is clear that the KRG is also under threat. It is not a simple coincidence that ISIL' attack happened at the same time when the KRG started exporting its oil through Turkey.
This decision of the KRG to export oil, which will make a great contribution to Turkey's economy, is seen as a disaster by the opponents of Turkey, especially by Syria. Speaking to the press about ISIL, Kifah Mahmoud, Barzani's media advisor, also underlined the attack's connection to Assad. "I think these armed rebels are not only composed of ISIL fighters as claimed. We believe that many groups are in cooperation, including the former Baath regime's supporters, former army members and Baath administrators. Many armed groups such as the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order, Muhammad's Army and Mesopotamia Army act together. All these organizations are the formations of former Baath regime supporters. And most of the people in the region believe that the organization known as ISIL is actually founded and ruled by Baath."
The U.S. and EU rejected an international intervention against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the grounds that it might reinforce radical Islamist groups. This is despite the massacre of at least 150,000 civilians in Syria by Assad, including the use of chemical weapons. The West should carefully interpret this picture now.
They also should consider the evidence of regional sources and independent international observers proving that terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and ISIL serve as a "crutch" for Assad and are directly supported by Damascus.
The regime in Damascus gives a message to the world by equipping these radical terrorist groups with heavy weapons and making them attack Kurds and other opponents. The regime tries to make the point that "a Syria without Assad would be an infernal place." On the other hand, it tries to subdue its other opponents in the region with these radical groups, including Turkey, which favors an international intervention in Syria.
Unfortunately, the U.S. and EU are being deceived on this matter. By de facto recognizing the ridiculous election victory of Assad, who made millions of Syrian citizens flee from the country and forbid propaganda to his rivals in the election, the U.S. and the EU support the terror this dictator has created in the region.
The West, which is incapable of implementing an effective embargo and international intervention against Assad, should give up siding with the dictator if it wants to maintain security and does not want higher costs in the region. Hopefully, the recent operations of ISIL in Mosul, which were supported by Baath, will bring them to reason.