Only a few days ago, the militias were struck again (after two previous incidents) by US-led coalition aircraft to serve as a warning to stop approaching the forces. In the same area, an armed drone built by Iran was shot down by a US warplane after it had fired at US advisers and local forces.
Analysts say that Iran is not in fact trying to target American forces, but rather it is trying to secure and defend a supply route that goes through Iraq and southern Syria, eventually arriving in Lebanon.
It is particularly frustrating for the US to have to deal with Iran and its militias on top of the Islamic State. It has been noted by officials that Iran has become even more dangerous and bold in its actions. It also has an unprecedented network of proxies.
A spokesman for the Pentagon criticised Iran for creating a distraction in the fight against ISIS. Col. Ryan Dillon urged the parties in the south of Syria to concentrate on defeating ISIS the “common enemy” and what he described as “the greatest threat to the region and the rest of the world”.
Experts believe that the sheer amount of militias and powers in the area is leaving a vacuum of power because there are so many different objectives being pursued. For Russia, and of course the Islamic Republic of Iran, despite declaring otherwise, defeating ISIS was never a main goal.
Turkey has somewhat supported Syrian President Bashar al Assad, but has an issue with the Syrian Kurds that are producing the most results in the fight against ISIS. Russia and Iran are firm supporters of Assad.
It seems like the defeat of ISIS is nevertheless progressing well, and many say that ISIS’ demise is in sight. It had been a goal for many regions for a long time, but now, not surprisingly, other powers in the Middle East are starting to move into the place of ISIS and to strengthen their position for when the time comes. Iran in particular.