Approval for the Government to go ahead and launch airstrikes on D’aesh strongholds led to tornado planes leaving the RAF base in Cyprus within hours, in order to conduct their first strikes, which they did so on one of the D’aesh held oil fields in the east.
That seems to be the strategy going forward: bombing the oil fields to cut off sources of income before setting their sights on Raqqa, the action that is striking fear into the hearts of many that simply dread more civilian casualties.
It’s the issue of civilian casualties that is the most compelling reason for avoiding Military action. War means Death and the human cost to this conflict has already been grave. The landscape of the proposed strike targets are congested urban areas, which mean that collateral damage is unavoidable plus there has been no resolution on a safe zone so that those not party to the conflict can take refuge in more accessible areas than around the border.
The issue of civilian casualties is mostly ignored by those that wave the flag for airstrikes; but it is ultimately this that will be a measure of its abomination and also another driver of recruitment to the most extreme factions in the region including ISIS.
This last point has not at all featured in any strategy on the part of the UK, mostly because there is no strategy. Airstrikes in themselves are not a strategy but a gesture. If our bombs manage to make a dent in their army or even their leadership, that won’t be the end of it, but rather a retaliation that they cannot aim at the air.