Fears Mosul Invasion Will Spark ISIS Surges Elsewhere

Everywhere From Malaysia to EU, Risks Are Seen

The Malaysian government has announced that it is putting border security on alert today, saying that the Iraqi invasion of the ISIS-held city of Msoul could lead to an exodus of Malaysian ISIS fighters back to their home country, where they might launch attacks.

They’re just one of many countries with the same concern. European Union officials are expressing disquiet about the exact same thing, fearing that the huge numbers of European recruits to ISIS are going to start surging back into the European continent, adding enormous manpower to ISIS factions inside Europe which, while small, have launched some very high-profile attacks.

All the countries from which ISIS has recruited have feared what happens when those recruits return with a bunch of new skills and contacts to international jihad. The Mosul invasion could potentially play a big role in that, as ISIS’ largest city, and less and less ISIS territory for the fighters to flee into.

Perhaps the most immediate loser in Mosul sparks an exodus of ISIS fighters, however, is Syria, in which ISIS still has meaningful territory, and could quickly upset the balance of power in places of Deir Ezzor, where the Syrian military is struggling to keep ISIS from overrunning their defenses.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.