By Sal Bommarito
The ISIS invasion of Iraq and Syria has become one of the biggest stories in 2014. The terrorist forces have commandeered vast tracts of land in both countries. While perpetrating this crime, ISIS is terrorizing civilians. It is demanding that non-believers convert; it is slaughtering Shiites and other religious and social groups; and it is causing consternation among neighbors and many countries throughout the world.
The most under reported aspect of the ISIS crisis is the humanitarian disaster being created by hostilities. ISIS is killing thousands of Iraqis and Syrians, and simultaneously hundreds of thousands are deserting their homes and seeking refuge in nations surrounding the areas of conflict.
In Syria, 3 million people have fled the country. Over 40% of all Syrians have been forced to leave their homes. In Iraq, 2.3 million have been displaced.
Surrounding countries have generously taken in refugees. Lebanon has amassed 1.14 million, Jordan 619,000 and Turkey 1 million. Thousands are pushing towards the borders to escape ISIS tyranny.
Thousands are dying at the hands of conflicting forces in Iraq and Syria. But millions are homeless and at the mercy of countries with limited resources. It is likely that humanitarian efforts will be insufficient to protect refugees, and the death total will skyrocket in coming months. Further, the receptive countries may decide to limit further immigration for political and/or financial reasons.
The inevitable humanitarian issue is yet another matter that was not considered thoroughly before hostilities elevated.