Any advance against Islamic State is cause for joy and celebration

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

In a hugely important military development, US-backed fighters have now taken back control of a northern Syrian town from the Islamic State savages.

The predominantly Kurdish Syria Democratic Forces said that Manbij is now under their full control.

The success is the result of an offensive that began in May. It was under the cover of air strikes of the US-led coalition.

This is the sort of action that David Cameron was trying to get parliamentary support for, ultimately successfully and with cross-party support.

When is, and when is not, appropriate for the west to intervene abroad is one of the most thorny questions of modern foreign policy, as is particularly evident in the aftermath of the Chilcot report into the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq.

But almost everyone apart from a political hardcore, epitomised by MPs such as Jeremy Corbyn, agrees that we cannot do nothing in the face of a threat as grave as that posed by IS.

It is one of the most barbaric organisations in modern history to have taken control of large swathes of territory.

They have thrown societies back into the dark ages, stoning to death adulterers and executing gay people and viciously persecuting Christians and severely repressing women.

It was wonderful last week to see photographs of rebels taking back control of Sirte, Libya from IS, and it is wonderful now to read of men clipping off their beards with scissors and women uncovering their faces in Manbij.

In a shameful sequence last year here in Northern Ireland, a man who praised the ‘peace’ brought about in Mosul by IS beasts made a complaint about the controversial sermon by Pastor Jim McConnell that duly led to him appearing before the courts. Far from bringing about peace, these terrifying thugs are responsible for some of the greatest misery witnessed anywhere since the end of World War II.

They clearly had to be defeated through force. Any news of any advance against them is a cause for joy and celebration.