Quentin Sommerville tells us that after the battles for Sinjar and Kobane, "the absence of IS dead was striking", protected by their "network of tunnels and hideaways" (Into the terror zone, 4th December,2015). This must surely tell us that the bombing of IS-held towns, without massive military support on the ground, can be little more than political posturing. Bombing oilfields in IS-held territory is less effective, too, than punishing those who are buying their oil. What has to be attained first is international and local agreement on the removal of Assad; without this, any action is likely to spawn more hatred of western values.
An ideology, as it has often been said, no matter how barbarous, cannot be bombed out of existence. Urgently required is for its bloodthirsty and psychopathic aspects to be exposed as essentially non-Islamic, for the ideology`s attraction to decline, and the best way history has shown to achieve this is by putting it on public trial, with worldwide publicity, Nuremburg style. Leading figures of IS need to be captured, and for maximum effect, all lawyers and judges involved should be Muslim. Whilst it is vital that this barbaric monstrosity is revealed to all as a perversion of the Muslim faith, it is also increasingly evident that every delay in the removal of Assad hinders all possibilities of peace.