Masrour Barzani: IS can be destroyed in weeks

Barzani says if the international community becomes fully engaged, IS can be easily defeated

 Sinjar, Kurdistan Region--Masrour Barzani, the intelligence chief of Kurdistan Region, said that he hopes the devastating Paris attack will be a wakeup call for the international community to realize how truly dangerous IS is.

Speaking with the BBC near the Sinjar front, the town that Kurdish forces drove IS out last week, Barzani emphasised the importance of militarily defeating IS.

“Once they lose territory, there is no area for jihadist around the world to come to and they will lose their capability to recruit locals and lose capability to raise funds.” Barzani said. “I think if the international community is willing to fully engage and military defeat ISIS, it should not take more than months or perhaps even weeks.”

Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga, have pushed IS back between Tal Afar and Mosul, Tal Afar and Sinjar, and Sinjar and Syria.

Nonetheless, Barzani doesn’t believe IS is any significantly weaker. “It is very difficult to say that ISIS has weakened. They might be losing some ground here and there but to terrorize of course they are using different methods and I think this is probably a change of tactics.”

Referring to the recent Paris attack that terrorized the Western world, Barzani warned that IS “might try to do more of this, if they are not stopped.”

The intelligence and security chief in Iraqi Kurdistan said that he hoped the Paris attacks would lead to "more engagement and more commitment to eradicate the Islamic State group and to make sure such terrorist activities will not be repeated.”

If Western countries were unwilling to send in troops, Barzani thinks they should provide greater support to other ground forces in both Iraq and Syria.

“If the international community is not ready to send troops on the ground… they have to provide sufficient support to forces fighting ISIS,” Barzani said.