First Wednesday: The Fight Against Daesh

Talk Wednesday 6 January 2016, 7:00 PM

Since the Paris attacks on 13 November, world leaders have seemingly put grievances aside to unite in a newly energised fight against Daesh – but what can be achieved by bombing the already bombed-out cities of Syria?

If Daesh is pushed back militarily then what comes next? Who fills the void and how do you stop from merely driving them elsewhere? Even if military gains are made, the ideology remains. Those involved in the attacks in Paris were French and Belgium citizens – how do we tackle radicalisation both online and on the streets of Europe, and prevent rising fear and the polarisation of communities?

The recent downing of a Russian jet by Turkish forces highlights the perils of combat aircraft from different countries operating in the same theatre. How can this be managed logistically without causing another major diplomatic incident?

For the first First Wednesday of 2016 we will be bringing together a panel to answer these questions and to discuss the diplomatic, logistical and ideological challenges of the fight against Daesh.

Chaired by

David Loyn, foreign correspondent for the BBC for over 30 years, most recently Afghanistan correspondent.

The panel

Richard Spencer is Middle East editor of The Daily and Sunday Telegraph. He moved to the Middle East from China in 2009, based in Dubai and then Cairo. Since then, he has reported regularly from Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq, and was in Aleppo when Jabhat al-Nusra split to give birth to Daesh.

Shiraz Maher is a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, King’s College London and is currently coordinating the centre’s research on the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts.

Robin Yassin-Kassab is a journalist, author of the novel The Road From Damascus and co-author with Leila al-Shami of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War.

Azadeh Moaveni is a journalist, writer and lecturer in journalism at Kingston University. She was TIME magazine Middle East correspondent and is author of Lipstick Jihad and Honeymoon in Tehran.