For two decades the war on terrorism preoccupied Western policymakers in the Middle East. America had to rally the world against Islamic State (is), a force of Sunni Muslim jihadists who by 2016 governed an area the size of Britain and extolled their desire to conquer the world for the caliphate. But four years after a Western coalition recaptured the last redoubts of is in Iraq and Syria, it is walking away from the clear-up.
In north-eastern Syria tens of thousands of women and children of captured jihadists are languishing in a detention camp called al-Hol. In Iraq jihadist sympathisers, their families and displaced people who had come under the sway of is and were held in camps recently closed have fared little better. Far from being reintegrated back into society, they could still pose a threat. “Iraq is still fragile,” says a Western diplomat in Baghdad. “Without a sustainable return, there’s an increased tendency for displaced people to be pushed back into is’s extremist narrative.”
Source : Economist