It is not the United States or any of its European allies. Nor is it Russia. It is Israel.
ISIS leaders respect Israeli forces, whom they view as “very tough” in fighting “guerrillas and terrorists.” In contrast, ISIS doubts the ability and willingness of U.S. and European powers to remain engaged in urban combat effectively for the long haul. ISIS grand strategy reflects this fear, as ISIS leaders seek to avoid provoking Israel at this time.