US president Barack Obama laid out his administration's much awaited strategy in a national televised address on Wednesday 10 September. Whilst this assumes his government had no strategy, America's strategy has been taking shape against ISIS for some time. This can be seen from the fact that Obama only moved US troops when ISIS was a mere 40 Kilometres from the Kurdish capital city of Arbil in Northern Iraq. US policy makers concluded with the Iraqi central government giving up on taking back areas they had lost to ISIS and with Kurdish forces on the verge of capitulation, air strikes were necessary. With a war weary public Obama is considered to have failed the country in foreign policy areas such as Syria. His speech was in reality a public relations exercise ahead of the November US midterm elections. Whilst Obama's speech was aimed at his domestic audience, his government's strategy on the Iraq crisis, ISIS and Syria revolves around four key areas.
After months of boiling yet subdued tensions, and upon the recent beheading of another Lebanese soldier as announced by ISIS, Syrian refugees are facing reprisals, with many forced to evacuate Lebanese areas. The actions and threats of ISIS have sparked outrage among the Lebanese people, many blaming the Syrian refugees for the cause of the intensifying security risks. The Syrian refugees are either being kicked out violently by residents or are given eviction notices by the municipality police claiming that they are not against the refugees, but special safety measures ought to be taken in order to control the sensitive situation. Syrian refugees, many whom are women and children, are afraid to leave their houses, are particularly worried as support has been abruptly cut off, and are gravely expecting that any future clashes will lead to horrific undesired results. (The Daily Star – Lebanon)