'ISIS has no operational capabilities left'

Former National Security Adviser says elimination of ISIS leader is mainly symbolic.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Yaakov Amidror
Yaakov Amidror
Kobi Richter/TPS

Former National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that the elimination of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would not cause the terrorist organization to completely disintegrate, but in fact there was little of it left.

"The idea will remain and they may even appoint someone else in his place, but it is symbolic. Part of the minor power the organization has left was because its leader remained alive and was a symbol of resistance that survives despite all efforts to eliminate it. The fact that he was eliminated will harm that symbol,” said Amidror.

"The organization has no significant operational capabilities anyway and the point of change will not be in that regard but rather in the organization's symbolism," he added.

Amidror explained that ISIS has been severely harmed in recent years. "The Americans in a very systematic way, with a lot of air force power, special forces, operating mainly Kurdish local forces, have managed to hit all their strongholds. They remain scattered in Iraq and Syria and there are organizations around the world that declare their allegiance to ISIS but it is not a hierarchical system. It remains more of an idea and less of an organization. It is now more similar to Al-Qaeda in its bad times than it is to ISIS in its ‘good’ times,” explained Amidror.

He noted that "there is a significant problem in the Sunni world and it is not resolved by the elimination of the leader of ISIS. This world includes 85% of all Arab Muslims who feel betrayed and feel that they are being significantly harmed. The attempt to apply to the Sunni world the Muslim Brotherhood's slogan that 'Islam is the solution' is unsuccessful and the attempt to return to the reality of the past is a failure, because the infrastructure of the past is almost non-existent."

Amidror also commented on the discourse surrounding the Iranian existential threat to Israel. "We need not fear but rather prepare. This is not about terrorism. There is also a problem of terrorism and that needs to be addressed, but the main problem is that Iran has built a significant military force in Lebanon and is now trying to do the same in Syria near Israel's borders, with Tehran remaining far from Israel and protected.”

"That's where our main problem lies - in the connection between Tehran and a real military capability of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles, some of which are accurate. This is the main problem of the State of Israel and it is the most complicated threat for us,” he concluded.