In what is being billed as the first direct clash between Israel and ISIS, the Shuhada al-Yarmouk organization, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, lost a number of fighters after exchanging fire with the IDF. The terror organization fired on IDF soldiers and after an exchange of gunfire, Israel’s airforce destroyed the gunman’s vehicle, killing all of the assailants.
The escalation, although minor in scope presents the first time affiliates of ISIS entered into a direct confrontation with Israel. Either this was a trial balloon or the collapsing caliphate has decided to open a front against Israel. Given the fact that it is strethced thin due to increasing Russian bombardments and Srian government forces pushing back its fighters, it would be strange that it would want to waste fighters on a much more formidable Israeli arm.
Then again, Israel is a perfect target to distract from ISIS’s weakening position. By attacking Israel it may be able to rally the Sunni street to its side.
One senior officer stated: “We don’t know all the outcomes of the event. There is great probability there are four dead and the heavy machine gun was destroyed. The terrorists are from Shuhada al-Yarmouk, with all the significance that organization’s name carries. The Israeli forces didn’t lie in ambush by chance.”
The Israeli government wasted no time showcasing the incident and the army’s response.
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said, “I want to commend our soldiers who pushed back against the attack carried out against us. We are prepared against any enemy that threatens us on our northern border, and do not give ISIS a foothold for their war in Syria.”
Will Shuhada al-Yarmouk attack again? Was this is a test ballon? It is too early to give a clear answer to these questions. However, one thing is for sure, ISIS is not going to sit back and be destroyed nor will it be wished away as if it is the bogey man. Sooner or later as Syria continues to sprial out of control, Israel will have to root out and defeat ISIS with or without intenational help.