Wearing a polo shirt and white baseball cap to blend in on the more secular streets of Turkey, Yusaf, the nom de guerre of the European-born fighter who joined the group 21 / 2 years ago, added: “We don’t believe in countries .?.?. breaking and destroying all borders is our aim. What matters are Islam and a Sunni reign.”
Asked about the United States’ role in the region, Yusaf said, “We don’t fear the U.S., we only fear God. We fight whoever are fighting us. If the U.S. hits us with flowers, we will hit them back with flowers. But if they hit us with fire, we will hit them back with fire, also inside their homeland. This will be the same with any other Western country.”
“7. Is ISIL more dangerous than al-Qaeda right now?
“While both are terrorist forces, they have different ambitions. Al-Qaeda’s principal ambition is to launch attacks against the west and U.S. homeland. That’s the direct threat that we have taken direct action against for many years. Right now, ISIL’s primary focus is consolidating territory in the Middle East region to establish their own Islamic State. So they’re different organizations with different objectives.
“8. Are we at war with ISIL? Will we be sending troops back to Iraq?
“No. There is no U.S. military solution to the larger situation in Iraq. The United States’ chief goals are to protect our personnel and facilities, and to prevent a potential act of genocide. That is the scope of these operations. As the President said, we will support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, but no American combat troops will be returning to fight in Iraq.”
There is, of course, a military solution. But George W. Bush and Barack Obama both feared to use it.