Despite Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi having been described as a devout Muslim, he’s made it clear he has very little love for the Islamic jihadist terrorist organization that now goes by the nom du terrorisme of the Islamic State (IS). The North African leader’s disdain for the hard core shari’a fundamentalists is to such a degree, he’s called for a pan-Arab military organization to counter the terrorists growing threat.
As reported by CNN via KSPR (of Springfield, Missouri) on Feb. 23, 2015, and also by the Jerusalem Post on Feb. 24, 2015, President al-Sisi took to the airwaves as he said in a televised speech to the nation, “The need for a unified Arab force is growing and becoming more pressing every day.” Without giving specifics of his call for the Arab World to unite to his banner, al-Sisi reportedly told his nation that Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have already come on-board in a military union.
While the issue of ground troops has yet to be made public, those in military circles have made clear that air power alone will never defeat the threat posed by Islamo-terrorists. CNN military analyst and retired Army Maj. Gen. James “Spider” Marks stated “it’s about time” an Arab leader the likes of President al-Sisi finally went public in calling on the Muslim World to destroy ISIS, “Strategically and politically for the region, this is a big deal, and it’s absolutely the right first step.”
As noted by Foreign Affairs magazine on Sept. 15, 2014, when Barack Obama ordered the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq in late 2011, ISIS had as few as 800 members in the embattled nation. Since Obama’s about face in Iraq, ISIS has taken control of huge tracts of land in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Meanwhile, the total strength has been estimated by the Russians at 70,000, while the Kurds approximate their total under arms at 200,000. Various reports have also bubbled to the surface stating that the terrorist network has operatives as far away as the Philippines and Sweden, to as close as Yemen and Lebanon.