Despite universal outrage at the beheading of American journalist, James Foley, a Turkish based freelance reporter has suggested that such incidents have been taking in the Middle East for a number of years already. A video of Foley’s execution was posted to the internet by the Islamic State (IS), nearly two years since his disappearance in Syria. His murder has been seen as a warning to the US government to end its interference in Iraq.
Having reported on rebel groups in the Middle East over the past few years, freelance journalist Laura Wells was not necessarily shocked by the incident. According to Wells, such slaughters were becoming the modus-operandi of radical groups in Syria and Iraq.
“This is not surprising to me. The only thing that is surprising is that they are now going after foreign non-combatants. Although the US has entered Iraq with their military strikes, unfortunately it’s not necessary going to rectify things,” she said.
Much has been reported on the massive wealth of the IS, with the group rumoured to have a net worth of over $2 Billion. Wells suggested the group’s wealth was brought about through their acquisition of a number of oil wells and banks in Northern Iraq.
According to her, it was also well documented that IS were receiving massive funding from wealthy patrons, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These patrons were providing arms and funding towards the rebel groups fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, which in turn was making its way to the IS.
As to the reasons behind the issues in Iraq, Wells said the conflict was being heavily influenced by sectarian motives. She noted a strong resentment by some of the countries Sunni tribes, towards the shia dominated government of former Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki.
These are various groups of people who are drawn to the Islamic State, to regain what the Sunni power within a Shia dominated country,” she claimed. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)