Many journalists, or common people, wonder how is it possible for all countries to be against ISIS (the Islamic State), and still ISIS being alive and kicking? These are very silly questions, and they make me very suspicious, at least when they come from professional journalists.
First of all not everybody is against ISIS. Turkey and Qatar are pro-ISIS, and Turkey has one of the strongest armies in the world, and Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world. Of course they would not openly admit that they support ISIS.
Second, the United States is indeed against ISIS and it is bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq. However by bombing ISIS the United States is destroying its alliance with Turkey and Qatar, and we know how badly the US needs these two countries. Therefore the Americans are targeting ISIS but they also try not to destroy their alliance with Turkey. This alliance has already been hurt.
Third, Russia is also against ISIS, but she also hesitates to bomb ISIS, because Turkey is the second largest importer of Russian natural gas, with Germany being the largest. Russia is hoping to send her natural gas to Europe through Turkey and she needs Turkey. Moreover if Russia targets ISIS there will be retaliations from the Muslim population of Russia. We saw that when Russia sent her army in Syria ISIS hit two Russian airplanes with civilians. Finally Russia does not want to lose the Turkish support in Ukraine. If Russian-Turkish relations deteriorate, Turkey will stop being quite about Ukraine, and she will also use the issue of the Crimean Tatars against Russia. The Tatars are Crimean people of Turkic origin, they are repressed by Russia, and they ask Turkey for help.
Please note that it was after the crash of the two Russian airplanes that Russia dared to bomb Raqqa, which is the capital of ISIS. Before that Russia was mainly targeting the moderate Sunni Muslims who were against Assad, and were supported by US and its allies i.e. the Free Syria Army etc. See “Dozens killed after Russia strikes de facto ISIS capital in Syria”, November 2015
If Russia, who is Turkey’s main rival during the last centuries, is hesitant and afraid about striking ISIS, you expect the US to target ISIS more forcefully, when the United States need Turkey even more than Russia needs Turkey?
Third, France is against ISIS, because France has very problematic relations with Turkey, and France has also become the main ally of Saudi Arabia, after the Saudi-American relations went sour. Therefore France wants to hit ISIS, and she did hit ISIS oil facilities on Sunday 8th November 2015. Yesterday you saw the retaliations. If you think that you can target ISIS without consequences you are wrong. See “French strike hits IS oil facility in Syria”, November 2015.
Forth, Iran is against ISIS and it is already combating ISIS, and that’s why there is a war in Syria.
Fifth, many people confuse the air strikes with the ground operations. The Americans and the Russians can use their air force to bomb ISIS, but if they try to send troops in Syria and Iraq they face severe protests internally. On the other hand the Sunni and Shiite Islamists do not have to worry too much about their dead soldiers, at least as far as the public opinion is concerned. It is one thing to bomb from the air, and another to send troops on the ground. You saw the price the US had to pay in Afghanistan. The US and Russia might handle the financial cost of the operations, but they cannot handle the human cost. This is not the case for ISIS. ISIS has plenty of soldiers to spend.