Terror Attacks in Europe May Increase With More ISIS Defeats

Looming ISIS defeats in Fallujah and Raqqa threaten to humiliate the terrorist group.

The US State Department warning for Americans to avoid travel to Europe may have been in connection with impending ISIS* defeats, according to Israeli Brig. Gen. Shalom Harari, Member of the Counter-Terrorism Institute Herzliya and Former Adviser for the Minister of Defence on Palestinian Affairs.

“The Americans are anticipating that ISIS will try to retaliate by doing operations in Europe as revenge, in order to compensate the losses that they already have and will have in the next coming days and weeks,” Harari told valdaiclub.com.

This is due to what are seen as looming ISIS defeats in Fallujah and Raqqa, according to Harari, as US-backed Iraqi and Kurdish military victories threaten to humiliate the terrorist group.

“I think until now the process was going quite well, but we also have to pay attention to other things because they are coordinated. There may be big preparations to conquer Raqqa, the capital of Daesh in Syria. And I think that is not by accident, but it was planned like this that the effort in Fallujah will be at the same time that the effort in Raqqa,” Harari added.

He added that besides the issues with entering a major city held by a terrorist group, the Iraqis would have to work to prevent Shia militias from perpetrating atrocities.

“I think we won’t repeat the same mistake as before, and we will not let the Iraqi Shia militias to enter populated areas in Fallujah because most of them are Sunni, and in the past we’ve seen a lot of atrocities done by Shia militia fighters against Sunni civilians,” Harari said.

Harari added that considering ISIS tactics of using tunnels and civilians as human shields, the taking of Fallujah is expected to be very difficult.

“The problem now is that in the last 48 hours in Fallujah, there’s something like 60,000 civilians that cannot go out, and ISIS take advantage of this to use them as human shields, something that was used also in the Gaza Strip in the last operation that Israel had,” Harari said.

According to Harari, the involvement of US soldiers should make the issue of avoiding civilian casualties less difficult.

Harari added that the reconstruction of Fallujah is expected to be very costly because of the abundance of booby traps used by ISIS in nearly every building, as has been the Russian military’s experience in Palmyra.

“The same problem was in Ramadi and al-Rutba: they booby-trapped so many houses that in order to go in, you have to blow up the houses. The result is that the blows from the ground and the blows from the aerial bombing left a lot of ruins. It would be very hard to bring back the population unless you build a new city for them, with new houses,” Harari said.

Such a project would be very difficult for the Iraqi government, as the country is currently going through a recession. In addition, the issue of Sunni-Shia tensions still remain, and leaving Shia forces in the city after it is taken could lead to new atrocities, Harari concluded.

*Banned in Russia by court order.
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