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US invasion of Iraq paved the way for Daesh: Academic

The US invasion of Iraq paved the way for terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIL) to flourish in the Middle East, says a political activist and journalist in Pennsylvania.

“I don’t think what’s happening now in Syria and Iraq would ever be taking place had the US never invaded Iraq and occupied it in 2003,” said Jennifer Loewenstein, a senior lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

“What we’re seeing now is what many people predicted, which is an explosion that was bound to happen once we went in and committed these atrocities in Iraq and paved the way for groups like ISIS (ISIL),” Loewenstein told Press TV on Friday.

She said US presidential candidates are now advocating for “military responses” to the threat of Daesh, with no acknowledgment that the US had a hand in creating the terror group.

Late in 2014, the US and some of its allies started conducting airstrikes in Iraq and neighboring Syria against Daesh terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA to fight against the Syrian government.

However, observers say the attacks have done little damage to the terrorists; rather, they targeted the country’s infrastructure.

Since March 2011, the US and its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have been conducting a proxy war against Syria.

The conflict has left more than 470,000 Syrians dead and half of the country’s population of about 23 million displaced within or beyond the Arab country’s borders.

Washington has also deployed dozens of special forces to eastern Syria in what it claims is an effort to shore up local militant groups against Daesh.

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