The Islamic State (IS) or Da’ish may have made a big mistake by blowing up the Russian airliner over Sinai. That the debris was spread over a 20 square mile area suggests one of two things: a timed plastique explosive or bomb loaded on to the plane at Sharm el-Sheikh. Or, a Russian SA-2/3 surface to air missile secured by the IS from the haemorrhaging Iraqi army and Syrian army inventories that can knock out targets at 30,000 feet — the plane’s cruising altitude. This is not far fetched a take because the IS core comprises the disaffected sunnis from the Iraqi Army. French sources with inside information — the downed plane being an Airbus 321 (a slightly modified version of the more popular 320) believe it was an explosion that instantly tore the plane apart midair. The Russian retribution — and this is what the wretched terrorists in the IS have most to fear, will not be long incoming and it will likely be horrible. Moscow may lead by deploying the most ruthlessly efficient units of the Russian Spetznaz (Special Forces)– the battalions with the Chechen Muslim fighters to take out the Da’ish leadership, followed by the use, perhaps, for the first time in mil operations, of FAEs (fuel air explosives), which are as destructive as kiloton nuclear devices. Putin will want very conspicuous revenge, and the IS are on point of suffering devastation.
There was, on a much smaller scale, a hit on the IS nearer home with the killing in southern Punjab by the police of Malik Ishaq — chief of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, who as the Express-Tribune reports (http://tribune.com.pk/story/983479/dangerous-nexus-malik-ishaq-was-set-to-join-is-before-his-death-says-official/ ) was about to join the Da’ish as its leader in this part of the world. The IS has acquired a small following in eastern Afghanistan and has been desperately trying to consolidate its presence by putting down deep roots in the region. If the Indian government was not so bent on demonizing Pakistan, this would have been the perfect opportunity to make common cause with Islamabad to take out the scourge of the deranged Da’ish from South Asia for good.