It’s hard to tell whether this is a move made out of desperation, or just another example of ISIS’ creative thinking. But the international terrorist organization, known for its brutal and violent takeover and occupation of the Middle East has begun drugging animals. And not just a few – sources in Iraq claim that the scoundrels have narcotized and kidnapped as many as 7,000 protected gazelle near Rutbah, Iraq… Not even antelope are safe anymore.
This unexpected tactic may seem peculiar. And almost everyone agrees: it is. The terrorist group has been plaguing Syria, Iraq and much of the western world with savage attacks, kidnappings, executions and threats. So the sudden shift of focus towards the Iraqi animal population has people scratching their heads.
Nevertheless, the reality of the situation stands thus: terrorists laced watering holes in an Iraqi nature reserve and subsequently killed a several thousand gazelle. There are a lot of theories circulating as to why, but there are no definitive answers yet. Perhaps ISIS strategists decided that they could buy time by harvesting resources naturally in the nearby nature reserve. Perhaps they’ve become careless and hungry and just don’t give a damn about Iraqi gazelle/nature preserves. Or maybe they simply got tired of store-bought meats and wanted something more authentic, more organic.
More likely though, the move is a signal of distress. Recently, Iraqi forces liberated the city of Rutbah from ISIS control, forcing the extremists out. But before they fled across the desert towards Syria, they likely decided to make the most of the reserve’s abundant natural resources… So they laced watering holes, drugged, bagged, tagged, and loaded as many goitered gazelles as they could into their transports and drove off into the sunset.
Whatever the reason for this confusing and strange attack, the victims remain the same: Iraqi gazelle. Although the nature reserve is home to thousands of these desert-antelope, if ISIS continues to kill them off in such large numbers, with such underhanded tactics as drugging their watering holes, the population may start to decline rapidly. And the goitered gazelle (the species which ISIS targeted) is already listed as having a “vulnerable” conservation status. Their numbers are steadily dwindling because of hunting and habitat destruction. This attack, could have diminished the goitered gazelle population of the region by as much as 10%. Which is definitely significant.
Apparently today, not even animal inhabitants of innocent nature reserves can escape the dangers of terrorism. Hopefully, this is an isolated event. But if this singular gazelle massacre starts to become a pattern, then actions will probably have to be taken to protect wildlife and wilderness from ISIS.
Sources: http://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/839-isis-drugs-gazelles.html, http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/663259/ISIS-launch-WAR-ON-NATURE-by-kidnapping-7000-endangered-GAZELLES