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‘Syria’s all-powerful Assad could not foresee rise of IS’

Heyman added that fighting against IS has to be an exercise that requires support from all quarters.

Officials have voiced concern about the presence of Islamic State in Afghanistan, though the group's real strength in the country is unknown. “The IS is a substantial concern. The outfit grew under the nose of all the agencies. Even Assad did not know what was happening in its own backyard,” Heyman said.

Nobody, including Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, had foreseen the rise of the Islamic State (IS), said David Heyman, Former Assistant Secretary Of Policy with the US Department of Homeland Security at a media interaction on Wednesday.

“The IS is a substantial concern. The outfit grew under the nose of all the agencies. Even Assad did not know what was happening in its own backyard,” Heyman said.

“Assad who is fighting against all the groups in the region either did not know or chose not to fight against the IS,” he added. “It is the first time that a terror outfit is acting as state actors. They are holding land, attempting to provide services,” he pointed out.

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Elaborating on the wide presence of IS on the social media, Heyman said, “It has a very sophisticated, polished strategy. A narrative that attracts and inspires. It has given the idea of Khilafat (Islamic ruled state), the idea for fighting for a flag and that attracts people towards it,” he said.

Heyman added that fighting against IS has to be an exercise that requires support from all quarters. “Every country should put in equal efforts. IS is more of European problem than that of America. It requires equal contribution from Europe, the Middle East and even America,” he added.

First published on: 26-03-2015 at 03:41 IST
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