The fall of Baghuz signifies the end of five years of fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. An outfit based on terror with the attributes of a state in controlling territory, collecting taxes, etc, had to be taken down due to its clearly malign intentions. The end of ISIS' landholding isn’t the end of its ideology, however, and the West may still have to cope with the evil designs of sleeper cells and lone wolf attacks. The significance of ISIS brought to its knees, with its “caliphate” in tatters, after being pounded by American armour, shouldn’t be underestimated in the global war on terror. But the pity is conflicts won’t end as one common enemy has been felled.
Unless the US and Russia come to an understanding on West Asia, it’s unlikely total peace will ever come about. The ideological stand of American interests, its regime change doctrine in Syria and elsewhere in the region and its objective of reducing Iran’s ability to interfere in Arab conflicts is just one part of the story. The other is that of Russia, standing solidly behind Iran and Syria, propping up Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whose father too was an enemy of America and on the US list of desirable regime changes, in pursuit of which America played along with so many groups of mercenaries, or mobs with guns. The clash of ideologies of the West and Russia, successor to the defunct Soviet Union, will see West Asia fester in local conflicts. This is the nature of confrontational geopolitics. Even so, ISIS’ fall is an event to celebrate in isolation as its designs were pure evil and contrary to all norms of civilised behaviour.