French journalist Nicolas Henin was held hostage by ISIS for ten months, seven of which was in Syria itself.
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Speaking to The Syria Campaign, he has provided a strategy for combatting ISIS for good, and it is pretty much the opposite to what the US and UK governments have done in the past. He has said it is essential to stop air strikes, as they represent a “trap” for the UK and other members of the international community.
Henin was trapped by ISIS and British national Mohammed Emwazi aka Jihadi John was among the people who subjected him to physical and psychological torture. Henin said:
Strikes on Isis are a trap.
The winner of this war will not be the party that has the newest, the most expensive or the most sophisticated weaponry, but the party that manages to win over the people on its side.
An example he gives is of other countries that have responded well to the refugee crisis. Many people have been fleeing their homes in Muslim countries to get away from the threat of ISIS and those countries in Europe who have offered homes to these migrants have been a “blow to ISIS”:
Hundreds of thousands of refugees, fleeing this Muslim land that is like a dream for ISIS – that is supposed to be their Israel? And fleeing that land to go to the land of the ‘unbelievers’?
This is why they probably tried to manipulate the public during the Paris attacks. To make us close our borders, and maybe even more importantly, close our minds.
The air strikes, as Henin outlined, were not bombing or hurting ISIS, but were instead, “pushing people into the hands of ISIS”.
What we have to do – and this is really key – is we have to engage the local people. As soon as the people have hope for a political solution, the Islamic State will just collapse.
There will be a very easy way to make Isis lose ground at a high speed. The international community must decide all regions held by the Syrian opposition are no-fly zones.
No-fly zones for everybody. Not the coalition, not the Russians, not the regime, nobody. Providing security for people [there] would be devastating for Isis. That’s what the international community should focus on.
Why are we making so many mistakes? Why are people so misunderstanding [ISIS’s] vision?
We are just fuelling our enemies and fuelling the misery and disaster for the local people.
It makes total sense and yet, our government as well as the US’s continue to carry out airstrikes, thinking bombing is the answer. This is why volunteers fighting ISIS want you to vote for Jeremy Corbyn – because he looks at foreign policies and peace talks rather than just jumping straight to effect management, that actually causes more damage than good.
Anyway, hats off to Henin for speaking out about his horrific ordeal and hopefully, one day, governments will realise that bombing countries to end war is a contradictory and damaging process… we can but dream.
Of course, it’s not like the war against ISIS hasn’t seen its victories. Check out the guys who undermine their organisation by hacking their social media accounts to post gay porn. Legends.