Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

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Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
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{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Salafi jihadist terrorist and militant group}}{{redirect-multi|5|ISIL|ISIS|Daesh|Daish|Islamic State group||ISIL (disambiguation)|and|Isis (disambiguation)|and|Daish (surname)|and|Islamic state (disambiguation)}}{{very long|date=August 2019}}{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2019}}{{Use British English|date=August 2016}}

{{transl>ar|ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām}}Iraq War (2003–2011), Iraqi insurgency (2011–13)>Iraqi insurgency, Syrian Civil War, Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017), Libyan Civil War (2014–present)>Second Libyan Civil War, Boko Haram insurgency, War in North-West Pakistan, War in Afghanistan (2015–present), Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)>Yemeni Civil War, and other conflicts
Primary target of Operation Inherent Resolve and of the military intervention against ISIL: in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria.|image = AQMI Flag asymmetric.svg{{!}}borderBlack Standard used by ISILKASHMIRA URL=HTTPS://WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK/NEWS/WORLD/MIDDLE-EAST/ISIS-FLAG-WHAT-DO-THE-WORDS-MEAN-AND-WHAT-ARE-ITS-ORIGINS-10369601.HTML DATE=7 JULY 2015, The Independent, title = 1999–present | bullets=on | 1 = Established under the name of Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad: 1999 | 2 = Joined al-Qaeda: October 2004 | 3 = Declaration of an Islamic state in Iraq: 13 October 2006 | 4 = Claim of territory in the Levant: 8 April 2013 al-Qaeda:POOL TITLE=ZARQAWI'S PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO AL-QAEDA: FROM MU'ASKER AL-BATTAR, ISSUE 21 DATE=16 DECEMBER 2004 ISSUE=24 JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION >URL=HTTPS://JAMESTOWN.ORG/PROGRAM/ZARQAWIS-PLEDGE-OF-ALLEGIANCE-TO-AL-QAEDA-FROM-MUASKER-AL-BATTAR-ISSUE-21-2/ ARCHIVEDATE=30 SEPTEMBER 2007 PUBLISHER=BBC NEWSURL=HTTPS://WWW.REUTERS.COM/ARTICLE/2014/02/03/US-SYRIA-CRISIS-QAEDA-IDUSBREA120NS20140203 TITLE=AL QAEDA BREAKS LINK WITH SYRIAN MILITANT GROUP ISIL, 3 February 2014, | 6 = Declaration of caliphate: 29 June 2014| 7 = Claim of territory in Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen: 13 November 2014URL=HTTP://WWW.HINDUSTANTIMES.COM/INDIA-NEWS/IS-ANNOUNCES-EXPANSION-INTO-AFPAK-PARTS-OF-INDIA/ARTICLE1-1311533.ASPX WORK=HINDUSTAN TIMES, 29 January 2015, FIRST1=NIMA FIRST2=PAUL FIRST3=MOHAMMED DATE=7 MARCH 2015, CNN, URL=HTTP://UNDERSTANDINGWAR.ORG/BACKGROUNDER/ISIS-DECLARES-GOVERNORATE-RUSSIA%E2%80%99S-NORTH-CAUCASUS-REGION DATE=23 JUNE 2015, Institute for the Study of War, Battle of Mosul (2016–17)>Recapture of Mosul by Iraqi forces: 20 July 2017Battle of Raqqa (2017)>Capture of Raqqa by SDF forces: 17 October 2017Battle of Baghuz Fawqani>Loses all of its territory in Syria: 23 March 2019}}
  • SalafismWEB, Islamic State,weblink 22 July 2014, Australian National Security, Australian Government, WEB, The Islamic State,weblink Mapping Militant Organizations, Stanford University, 23 January 2015, REPORT, Erin Marie, Saltman, Charlie, Winter, Islamic State: The Changing Face of Modern Jihadism,weblink Quilliam Foundation, November 2014, 978-1-906603-98-4,weblink" title="">weblink 26 February 2015,
  • Salafi jihadism{{r|Quilliam2014}}NEWS,weblink Crooke, Alastair, You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, 5 September 2014, HuffPost,
  • SaddamismWEB,weblink ISIS Forces That Now Control Ramadi Are Ex-Baathist Saddam Loyalists, Malcolm W., Nance, 3 June 2015,
  • Baqubah, Iraq (2006–2007)
  • No central headquarters (2007–2013)
  • Raqqa, Syria (2013–2017)
  • Mayadin, Syria (June–October 2017)NEWS, 23 April 2017, ISIS 'essentially moved' its Syria HQ from Raqqa to Deir ez-Zor province, RT (TV network), RT,weblink WEB,weblink Syrian army captures Mayadin from ISIS near Deir ez-Zor, Rudaw, 14 October 2017,
  • Al-Qa'im, Iraq (October–November 2017)WEB, Sarah Benhaida, Ahmad al-Rubaye, 26 October 2017, Iraq forces launch 'last big fight' against IS, Rudaw, y,weblink
  • Abu Kamal, Syria (November 2017)NEWS, 4 November 2017, Anti-IS forces converge on Syria border town, Agence France-Presse, Yahoo News,weblink NEWS, 4 November 2017, Syrian army & allies capture last major ISIS held town in Syria,weblink RT, Russia, TV-Novosti,
  • Hajin, Syria (November 2017 – December 2018)WEB,weblink Syria, the Isis pockets of resistance at Deir Ezzor are reduced to two, Francesco Bussoletti, Difesa & Sicurezza, 29 June 2018, 6 July 2018,
  • Al-Susah, Syria (December 2018 – January 2019)WEB,weblink Breaking: SDF captures Daesh's de facto capital in Syria, Leith, Aboufadel, 13 December 2018, WEB,weblink US-backed fighters seize east Syria village from ISIS, The National,
  • Al-Marashidah, Syria (January–February 2019)WEB,weblink ISIL's reign over eastern Euphrates nearing its end – map, Leith Aboufadel, Al-Masdar News, 24 January 2019, 25 January 2019, WEB,weblink Down to Its Last 2 Villages in Syria, ISIS Still Fights Back, Rukmini Callimachi, The New York Times, 24 January 2019, 25 January 2019, WEB,weblink ISIS squeezed into last areas as SDF troops capture 2 villages east of the Euphrates (MAP), Leith Aboufadel, Al-Masdar News, 7 February 2019, 15 February 2019,
  • Al-Baghuz Fawqani, Syria (February–March 2019)WEB,weblink US-backed Fighters Launch Final Push to Defeat IS in Syria, Rikar Hussein, VOA News, 9 February 2019, 15 February 2019, NEWS, The Washington Post, 23 March 2019,weblink US-allied Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State,
  • Unknown headquarters from March 2019}}
230px)ISIL's territory, in grey, at the time of its greatest territorial extent (May 2015).{hide}Collapsible list| title = Map legend
| 1 = {{legend|#b4b2ae|Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant{edih}
| 2 = {{legend|#db8ca6|Iraqi government}}
| 3 = {{legend|#ebc0b3|Syrian government}}
| 4 = {{legend|#ffa067|Lebanese government}}
| 5 = {{legend|#D2CD7E|Iraqi Kurdistan forces}}
| 6 = {{legend|#e2d974|Syrian Kurdistan forces}}
| 7 = {{legend|#caffc4|Syrian opposition forces}}
| 8 = {{legend|#80c490|Turkish Armed Forces}}
| 9 = {{legend|#ffffff|Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)}}
| 10 = {{legend|#3e79ff|w:Hezbollah|Hezbollah]]}}
| 11 = Note: Iraq and Syria contain large desert areas with sparse populations. These areas are mapped as under the control of forces holding roads and towns within them.
}}{hide}Collapsible list| title = Detailed current maps
| 1 = | 2 = | 3 = | 4 = | 5 = | 6 = {edih}|strength =
{{Collapsible list| title = List of combatant numbers
  • 200,000NEWS, Cockburn, Patrick, 16 November 2014, War with Isis: Islamic militants have army of 200,000, claims senior Kurdish leader, The Independent,weblink WEB, How many Fighters Does the Islamic State Really Have?, Daveed, Gartenstein-Ross-ROSS, 9 February 2015, War on the Rocks,weblink (2015 claim by Iraqi Kurdistan Chief of Staff)
  • 100,000NEWS, Saddam's former army is secret of Baghdadi's success,weblink Reuters, 16 June 2015, 1 July 2015, (2015 Jihadist claim)
  • 28,600–31,600WEB, Operation Inherent Resolve and other overseas contingency operations,weblink US Department of Defense, 31 December 2018, (2016 Defense Department estimate)
  • 35,000–100,000WEB, Briefing With Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy for the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey,weblinkweblink 7 May 2019, dead,, 11 May 2019, (State Department estimate)}}|Outside Syria and Iraq: 32,600–57,900 (See Military of ISIL for more detailed estimates.)
  • {{flagcountry|France}}
  • {{flagcountry|Iran}}
  • {{flagcountry|Iraq}}
  • {{flagcountry|Jordan}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, Mexico appears among the countries threatened by ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Lebanon}}
  • {{flagcountry|Libya}}
  • {{flag|Nigeria}}
  • {{flagcountry|Pakistan}}NEWS, Lizzie, Dearden, Pakistan 'kills 100 terrorists' in crackdown after Isis shrine bombing, The Independent, 17 February 2017,weblink
  • {{flagcountry|Russia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Saudi Arabia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Syria}}
  • {{flagcountry|Turkey}}
  • {{flagcountry|United Arab Emirates}}
  • {{flagcountry|United Kingdom}}
  • {{flagcountry|United States}}
  • {{flagcountry|Yemen}}
{{collapsible list|title=Many othersAfghanistan}}HTTPS://WWW.THENATIONAL.AE/WORLD/ASIA/ISIS-TARGETS-TALIBAN-IN-FIGHT-FOR-AFGHANISTAN-1.750512 >TITLE=ISIS TARGETS TALIBAN IN FIGHT FOR AFGHANISTAN LAST=FARMER LAST2=MEHSUD ACCESS-DATE=3 JULY 2019,, Abkhazia}}Albania}}Algeria}}HTTPS://WWW.ALJAZEERA.COM/NEWS/2015/12/ALGERIA-SYMBOLIC-TARGET-ISIL-151224080709968.HTML >TITLE=ALGERIA A 'SYMBOLIC TARGET' FOR ISIL LAST=KHETTAB ACCESS-DATE=3 JULY 2019 AL JAZEERA >PUBLISHER=AL JAZEERA MEDIA NETWORK, Armenia}}Artsakh}}Azerbaijan}}Australia}}OKRA HOME>URL=HTTP://WWW.DEFENCE.GOV.AU/OPERATIONS/OKRA/DEFAULT.ASPPUBLISHER=DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE – GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRALIA, 25 October 2017, Austria}}Bahrain}}Bangladesh}}Belgium}}Benin}}Bolivia}}TOM >LAST=PORTER WORK=INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES URL=HTTPS://WWW.IBTIMES.CO.UK/ISIS-USE-PICTURE-CYCLOPS-BABY-RECRUIT-FIGHTERS-APOCALYPTIC-BATTLE-1465323, JOEL >LAST=STONINGTON WORK=VOCATIV URL=HTTPS://WWW.VOCATIV.COM/TECH/INTERNET/CYCLOPS-BABY-MUSLIM-ANTICHRIST-MUCH/INDEX.HTML, Bosnia and Herzegovina}}Brazil}}SIMON >LAST1=ROMERO LAST2=SCHMIDT WORK=THE NEW YORK TIMES URL=HTTPS://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2016/08/02/WORLD/AMERICAS/RIO-DE-JANEIRO-OLYMPICS-TERRORISM-BRAZIL.HTML, Cameroon}}Canada}}OPERATION IMPACT>URL=HTTP://WWW.FORCES.GC.CA/EN/OPERATIONS-ABROAD-CURRENT/OP-IMPACT.PAGEACCESS-DATE=6 MARCH 2018, Chad}}China}}SAMUEL >LAST=OSBOURNE WORK=THE INDEPENDENT URL=HTTPS://WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK/NEWS/WORLD/MIDDLE-EAST/ISIS-CHINA-THREATEN-TERROR-ATTACK-MUSLIM-ISLAMIST-GROUP-ISLAMIC-STATE-A7606211.HTML, Democratic Republic of the Congo}}Croatia}}Czech Republic}}Denmark}}Egypt}}Estonia}}Fiji}}HTTPS://SPUTNIKNEWS.COM/MIDDLEEAST/201809121067972908-FIJI-US-COALITION-DAESH/>TITLE=FIJI JOINS US-LED COALITION AGAINST DAESH – SPOKESPERSONACCESS-DATE=12 SEPTEMBER 2018, Finland}}Georgia}}Germany}}GERMANY TO STRIP DUAL-NATIONALS WHO FIGHT FOR ISIS OF CITIZENSHIP >WORK=FINANCIAL TIMES URL-ACCESS=SUBSCRIPTION, {{full citation needed|date=September 2019}}Greece}}HTTP://GREECE.GREEKREPORTER.COM/2014/09/25/GREECE-BRINGS-WAR-AGAINST-THE-ISLAMIC-STATE/>TITLE=GREECE BRINGS WAR AGAINST THE ISLAMIC STATEACCESS-DATE=17 MARCH 2018, Hungary}}India}}Indonesia}}Ireland}}Israel}}Italy}}HTTP://WWW.CORRIERE.IT/ESTERI/15_OTTOBRE_05/ITALIA-BOMBARDERA-L-ISIS-IRAQ-61FD0934-6BA2-11E5-9423-D78DD1862FD7.SHTML>TITLE=L'ITALIA PRONTA A BOMBARDARE ISIS IN IRAQ. LA DIFESA: IPOTESI DA VALUTAREWEBSITE=CORRIERE DELLA SERA, Japan}}North Korea}}PRO-ISIS HACKERS ATTACK NORTH KOREAN AIRLINE FACEBOOK PAGE >WORK=THE GUARDIAN AGENCY=AFP,weblink South Korea}}Kosovo}}Latvia}}Lithuania}}Luxembourg}}Malaysia}}HTTPS://WWW.THEGUARDIAN.COM/WORLD/2018/JUL/20/MALAYSIA-LAUNCHES-CRACKDOWN-ON-ISIS-AFTER-THREATS-TO-KILL-THE-KING-AND-PRIME-MINISTER>TITLE=MALAYSIA LAUNCHES CRACKDOWN ON ISIS AFTER THREATS TO KILL THE KING AND PRIME MINISTERLAST=ELLIS-PETERSEN WORK=THE GUARDIAN, Maldives}}Malta}}Mauritius}}DAVID H. >LAST=UCKO DATE=28 DECEMBER 2017 URL=HTTPS://WWW.WORLDPOLITICSREVIEW.COM/ARTICLES/23693/TROUBLE-IN-PARADISE-MAURITIUS-TRIES-TO-WARD-OFF-ISLAMIST-RADICALIZATION, Mexico}}Moldova}}Morocco}}Mozambique}}Netherlands}}New Zealand}}Nicaragua}}ISLAMIC STATE GROUP: NICARAGUA ARRESTS FOUR SUSPECTED MEMBERS >PUBLISHER=BBC NEWS URL=HTTPS://WWW.BBC.COM/NEWS/WORLD-LATIN-AMERICA-48773780, Niger}}North Macedonia}}Norway}}Oman}}Palestine}}Philippines}}Poland}}Portugal}}Qatar}}Romania}}Serbia}}Slovakia}}Slovenia}}Somalia}}South Ossetia}}Spain}}BARCELONA TERROR ALERT COINCIDES WITH NEW SPANISH-LANGUAGE ISIS THREATS >FIRST=BRIDGET DATE=30 DECEMBER 2018 URL=HTTPS://WWW.HSTODAY.US/SUBJECT-MATTER-AREAS/TERRORISM-STUDY/BARCELONA-TERROR-ALERT-COINCIDES-WITH-NEW-SPANISH-LANGUAGE-ISIS-THREATS/, Sri Lanka}}SRI LANKA BOMBINGS: ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEADLY CHURCH AND HOTEL ATTACKS ON EASTER SUNDAY >URL=HTTPS://WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK/NEWS/WORLD/ASIA/SRI-LANKA-BOMBINGS-ISIS-TERROR-CHURCH-ATTACK-EASTER-ISLAMIC-STATE-A8882231.HTML DATE=23 APRIL 2019, Sweden}}Switzerland}}Taiwan}}Tajikistan}}VIDEO PURPORTS TO SHOW TAJIKISTAN ATTACKERS PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE TO ISIS >FIRST=RUKMINI FIRST2=ANDREW E. DATE=31 JULY 2018 URL=HTTPS://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2018/07/31/WORLD/ASIA/ISIS-TAJIKISTAN-VIDEO-ATTACK.HTML, Tunisia}}Ukraine}}Venezuela}}Western Sahara}}}}Non-state opponents Full list...|image_size = 200px|active2=}}The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL {{IPAc-en|ˈ|aɪ|s|@l|,_|ˈ|aɪ|s|ɪ|l}}), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS {{IPAc-en|ˈ|aɪ|s|ɪ|s}}), officially known as the Islamic State (IS) and also known by its Arabic-language acronym Daesh (, {{IPA-ar|ˈdaːʕɪʃ|IPA}}),NEWS, Schwartz, Felica, One More Name for Islamic State: Daesh,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 23 December 2014, WEB,weblink Decoding Daesh: Why is the new name for ISIS so hard to understand?, Alice, Guthrie, 19 February 2015, Free Word Centre, is a Salafi jihadist militant group and former unrecognised proto-stateNEWS,weblink ISIL defeated in final Syria victory: SDF, Al Jazeera, 23 March 2019, 24 March 2019, • NEWS,weblink ISIS has lost its final stronghold in Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces says, Ben, Wedeman, Lauren, Said-Moorhouse, CNN, 23 March 2019, 24 March 2019, • NEWS,weblink After ISIS 'defeat,' what comes next? – Analysis, The Jerusalem Post, Seth J., Frantzman, 24 March 2019, • NEWS,weblink Isis defeated, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announce, Bethan, McKernan, 23 March 2019, 24 March 2019, The Guardian, • NEWS,weblink ISIS Caliphate Crumbles as Last Village in Syria Falls, Rukmini, Callimachi, 23 March 2019, 24 March 2019, The New York Times, that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi doctrine of Sunni Islam.NEWS, Fouad al-Ibrahim, Why ISIS is a threat to Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism's deferred promise, Al Akhbar English,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 22 August 2014, 24 August 2014, WEB,weblink Islamic State and the policy of the West, Dolgov, Boris, Oriental Review, 23 September 2014, • BOOK, Wilson, Rodney, Islam and Economic Policy, {{Google books, ejgkDQAAQBAJ, PA178, yes, |year=2015|publisher=Edinburgh University Press|isbn=978-0-7486-8389-5|page=178}}• MAGAZINE,weblink End Times for the Caliphate?, Patrick, Cockburn, 3 March 2016, London Review of Books, 38, 5, 29–30, • WEB, Does Islamic State have the economic and political institutions for future development?, Dmitry, Pastukhov, Nathaniel, Greenwold,weblink 6 April 2019,weblink 9 October 2017, dead, • BOOK, Pedler, John, A Word Before Leaving: A Former Diplomat's Weltanschauung, {{Google books, A8nuBQAAQBAJ, PA99, yes, |year=2015|publisher=Troubador |isbn=978-1-78462-223-7|page=99}}• BOOK, Kerr, Michael, Larkin, Craig, The Alawis of Syria: War, Faith and Politics in the Levant, {{Google books, koeMCwAAQBAJ, PA21, yes, |year=2015|publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=978-0-19-045811-9|page=21}} ISIL gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive,NEWS, John Kerry holds talks in Iraq as more cities fall to ISIS militants,weblink CNN, 23 June 2014, followed by its capture of MosulNEWS, Suadad, Al-Salhy, Tim, Arango, Sunni Militants Drive Iraqi Army Out of Mosul, The New York Times,weblink 10 June 2014, and the Sinjar massacre.NEWS,weblink Sunni Extremists in Iraq Seize 3 Towns From Kurds and Threaten Major Dam, The New York Times, Arango, Tim, 3 August 2014, The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations as well as many international organisations and individual countries. ISIL is widely known for its videos of beheadings and other types of executionsNEWS,weblink A Short History Of ISIS Propaganda Videos, The World Post, 11 March 2015, of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, and its destruction of cultural heritage sites.WEB,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink Iraq churches, mosques under ISIL attack, Khalid, al-Taie, Al-Shorfa, 13 February 2015, 19 February 2015, The United Nations holds ISIL responsible for committing human rights abuses, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. ISIL also committed ethnic cleansing on a historic and unprecedented scale in northern Iraq.WEB, Ethnic cleansing on a historic scale: The Islamic State's systematic targeting of minorities in northern Iraq,weblink Amnesty International, 2 September 2014,weblink 12 March 2015, ISIL originated as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and participated in the Iraqi insurgency following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by Western forces at the behest of the United States. In June 2014, the group proclaimed itself a worldwide caliphateNEWS, Bill, Roggio, Bill Roggio,weblink ISIS announces formation of Caliphate, rebrands as 'Islamic State', Long War Journal, 29 June 2014, NEWS,weblink Withnall, Adam, Iraq crisis: Isis changes name and declares its territories a new Islamic state with 'restoration of caliphate' in Middle East, 29 June 2014, The Independent, London, and began referring to itself as the Islamic State ( {{transl|ar|ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah}}; IS).NEWS, What is Islamic State?,weblink BBC News, 26 September 2014, As a caliphate, it claimed religious, political, and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.WEB, What does ISIS' declaration of a caliphate mean?, Al Akhbar English,weblink 30 June 2014, 22 November 2014,weblink 19 January 2019, dead, . See also: {{harvc |contribution=Caliph, caliphate |first1=Wadad |last=Kadi |first2=Aram A. |last2=Shahin |url={{Google books|q1I0pcrFFSUC|page=81|plainurl=y}} |in=Bowering |year=2013}} Its adoption of the name Islamic State and its idea of a caliphate have been widely criticised, with the United Nations, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups vehemently rejecting its statehood.NEWS,weblink A Medieval Antidote to ISIS, Akyol, Mustafa, 21 December 2015, The New York Times, In Syria, the group conducted ground attacks on both government forces and opposition factions, and by December 2015, it held a large area extending from western Iraq to eastern Syria, containing an estimated 8 to 12 million people,WEB,weblink How ISIS Rules, Birke, Sarah, The New York Review of Books, 5 February 2017, where it enforced its interpretation of sharia law. ISIL is believed to be operational in 18 countries across the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, with "aspiring branches" in Mali, Egypt, Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines.NEWS, Islamic State and the crisis in Iraq and Syria in maps,weblink BBC News, 18 October 2016, NEWS, Exclusive: In turf war with Afghan Taliban, Islamic State loyalists gain ground,weblink Reuters, 29 June 2015, NEWS, Pakistan Taliban splinter group vows allegiance to Islamic State,weblink Reuters, 18 November 2014, NEWS, Zavadski, Katie, ISIS Now Has a Network of Military Affiliates in 11 Countries Around the World,weblink 25 November 2014, New York (magazine), New York, 23 November 2014, In 2015, ISIL was estimated to have an annual budget of more than US$1 billion and a force of more than 30,000 fighters.BOOK, A History of ISIS, Gerges, Fawaz A., Princeton University Press, 2016, 9780691170008, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 21–22, In mid-2014, an international coalition led by the United States intervened against ISIL in Syria and Iraq with a massive airstrike campaign, in addition to supplying advisors, weapons, training, and supplies to ISIL's enemies in the Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces. This campaign reinvigorated the latter two forces and dealt a huge blow to the nascent Islamist proto-state, killing tens of thousands of ISIL troops and dealing significant damage to their financial and military infrastructure.REPORT,weblink Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, US Department of Defense, 9 August 2017, 10 February 2019, This was soon followed by a smaller-scale Russian intervention exclusively in Syria, in which ISIL lost thousands more fighters to airstrikes and other Russian military activities and had its financial base even further degraded.WEB,weblink 42 months of Russian operations on the Syrian territory kill more than 8000 civilians including more than 18150 people in their raids and shelling, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, March 30, 2019, In July 2017, the group lost control of its largest city, Mosul, to the Iraqi army, followed by the loss of its de facto political capital of Raqqa to the Syrian Democratic Forces.NEWS,weblink US created Daesh, allowed regional states to fund terror group: Nasrallah, Press TV, 11 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 11 July 2017, Following these major defeats, ISIL continued to lose territory to the various states and other military forces allied against it, until it controlled no meaningful territory by November 2017.WEB,weblink Russia's Syria Mirage: July 17 - August 13, 2017
, Institute for Study of War, 13 August 2017, Matti, Suomenaro, Ellen, Stockert, Genevieve, Casagrande, US military officials and simultaneous military analyses reported in December 2017 that the group retained a mere 2 percent of the territory they had previously held.WEB,weblink ISIS has lost 98 percent of its territory, officials say, 26 December 2017, Fox32Chicago, WFLD, On 10 December 2017, Iraq's Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, said that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of the Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.WEB,weblink Islamic State completely 'evicted' from Iraq, Iraqi PM says, 10 December 2017, The Age, By 23 March 2019, ISIL lost one of their last significant territories in the Middle East in the Deir ez-Zor campaign, surrendering their "tent city" and pockets in Al-Baghuz Fawqani to the Syrian Democratic Forces at the end of the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani.


{{See also|Name changes due to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant}}{{anchor|ISIS}}In April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group adopted the name {{transl|ar|ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām}} ({{rtl-lang|ar|الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام}}). As (wikt:الشام|al-Shām) is a region often compared with the Levant or Greater Syria, the group's name has been variously translated as "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham",WEB, Irshaid, Faisal, Isis, Isil, IS or Daesh? One group, many names,weblink BBC, 2 December 2015, 2 December 2015, "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria"NEWS,weblink AlQaeda in Iraq confirms Syria's Nusra Front is part of its network, Al Arabiya English, 9 April 2013, 15 June 2014, (both abbreviated as ISIS), or "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (abbreviated as ISIL).NEWS, Tharoor, Ishaan, ISIS or ISIL? The debate over what to call Iraq's terror group,weblink 21 June 2014, The Washington Post, 18 June 2014, While the use of either one or the other acronym has been the subject of debate,NEWS, Saxena, Vivek, ISIS vs ISIL – Which One Is It?,weblink 20 June 2014, The Inquisitr, 18 June 2014, the distinction between the two and its relevance has been considered not so great. Of greater relevance is the name Daesh, which is an acronym of ISIL's Arabic name al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī l-ʻIrāq wa-sh-Shām. Dāʿish ({{rtl-lang|ar|داعش}}), or Daesh. This name has been widely used by ISIL's Arabic-speaking detractors,{{clarify|date=December 2015}}WEB,weblink Terrorist Designations of Groups Operating in Syria, United States Department of State, 14 May 2014, 18 June 2014, NEWS,weblink Isis, Isil or Da'ish? What to call militants in Iraq, 24 June 2014, BBC News, 16 August 2014, although – and to a certain extent because – it is considered derogatory, as it resembles the Arabic words Daes ("one who crushes, or tramples down, something underfoot") and Dāhis (loosely translated: "one who sows discord").NEWS, Randal, Collin, Why Does a Simple Word like Daesh Disturb Extremists so Much,weblink The National, Abu Dhabi, 22 November 2014, Within areas under its control, ISIL considers use of the name Daesh punishable by floggingWEB, Abouzeid, Rania, Syria's uprising within an uprising, European Council on Foreign Relations, 16 January 2014,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 25 January 2014, 15 August 2014, or cutting out the tongue.NEWS, Maria, Vultaggio, ISIL, ISIS, Islamic State, Daesh: What's The Difference?, 16 November 2015, International Business Times,weblink In late June 2014, the group renamed itself {{transl|ar|ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah}} ({{literal translation|Islamic State}} or IS), declaring itself a worldwide caliphate. The name "Islamic State" and the group's claim to be a caliphate have been widely rejected, with the UN, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups refusing to use the new name.NEWS, Moore, Jack, 2 July 2014, Iraq Crisis: Senior Jordan Jihadist Slams Isis Caliphate,weblink International Business Times UK, 2 July 2014, NEWS, Mandhai, Shafik, Muslim leaders reject Baghdadi's caliphate,weblink 12 July 2014, Al Jazeera, 7 July 2014, The group's declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and its adoption of the name "Islamic State" have been criticised and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists both inside and outside the territory it controls.NEWS, Iraq's Baghdadi calls for 'holy war',weblink Al Jazeera, 2 July 2014, 2 July 2014, In a speech in September 2014, United States President Barack Obama said that ISIL was neither "Islamic" (on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents) nor was it a "state" (in that no government recognises the group as a state), while many object to using the name "Islamic State" owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. The United Nations Security Council,WEB,weblink United Nations Official Document, United Nations, 13 October 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 October 2014, the United States,WEB,weblink Statement by the President on ISIL, White House, 13 October 2014, Canada,NEWS, David, Pugliese,weblink Details about the Canadian government's motion about going to war against ISIL, Ottawa Citizen, 13 October 2014, Turkey,WEB,weblink Turkish government files motion to Parliament to fight ISIL, Andalou Agency, 14 October 2014, Australia,NEWS,weblink Australia says ready to strike ISIL in Iraq, Al Jazeera, 3 October 2014, 13 October 2014, Russia,NEWS, Russia urges Iran's participation in anti-ISIL battle,weblink Press TV, 21 November 2014, 28 September 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 October 2014, the United KingdomWEB,weblink ISIL: UK government response, Government of the United Kingdom, 13 October 2014, and other countries generally call the group "ISIL", while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym "Dāʻish" (or "Daesh"). France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats.'"NEWS,weblink France is ditching the 'Islamic State' name—and replacing it with a label the group hates, 17 September 2014, 6 October 2014, The Washington Post, Adam, Taylor, Retired general John Allen, the U.S. envoy appointed to co-ordinate the coalition; U.S. Army Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group; and Secretary of State John Kerry had all shifted towards use of the term Daesh by December 2014.NEWS, Alan, Yuhasin, US general rebrands Isis 'Daesh' after requests from regional partners Leader of operations against group uses alternative name – a pejorative in Arabic that rejects fighters' claims on Islam, The Guardian,weblink 22 December 2014, 19 December 2014,

Purpose and strategy


ISIL is a theocracy, proto-stateBOOK, Tobey, Mark, The ISIS Crisis: What You Really Need to Know, 2015, chapter 6 reference 13,weblink Moody, 978-0-8024-9321-7, The final expression of Islamic government found in the Middle East would seem to be the purest, yet actually represents the most dangerous form: theocratic Islam., WEB, Belanger-McMurdo, Adele, A Fight for Statehood? ISIS and Its Quest for Political Domination,weblink Nevertheless, ISIS is neither a terrorist organization nor a political party; instead, it is a theocratic proto-state., BOOK, Caldwell, Dan, Seeking Security in an Insecure World, 2016, Rowman & Littlefield, 195, {{Google books, DqNaCwAAQBAJ, PA195, yes, |quote=It is a theocratic state that considers itself unbound by the Westphalian principle of sovereignty with its corollaries of nonaggression and nonintervention}} and a Salafi or Wahhabi group.{{r|HuffPost_Wahhabi}}NEWS,weblink The secret world of Isis training camps – ruled by sacred texts and the sword, Hassan, Hassan, The Guardian, 24 January 2015, 2 February 2015, NEWS,weblink Islamic State Affiliate Takes Root Amid Libya's Chaos, Bradley, Matt, 1 February 2015, 2 February 2015, The Wall Street Journal, ISIL's ideology represents radical Salafi Islam, a strict, puritanical form of Sunni Islam.WEB, The 'ISIS Phenomenon',weblink PennState Presidential Leadership Academy, Teti, Isabella Frances, Pennsylvania State University, 6 November 2016, Muslim organisations like Islamic Networks Group (ING) in America have argued against this interpretation of Islam.WEB, INGYouth: Frequently Asked Questions,weblink ING, 30 November 2017, ISIL promotes religious violence, and regards Muslims who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates.{{r|ANS}} According to Hayder al Khoei, ISIL's philosophy is represented by the symbolism in the Black Standard variant of the legendary battle flag of Muhammad that it has adopted: the flag shows the Seal of Muhammad within a white circle, with the phrase above it, "There is no god but Allah".NEWS, Prusher, Ilene, Ilene Prusher, 9 September 2014, What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group,weblink Time,weblink" title="">weblink 9 September 2014, 29 September 2014, Such symbolism has been said to point to ISIL's belief that it represents the restoration of the caliphate of early Islam, with all the political, religious and eschatological ramifications that this would imply.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 17 September 2014, Endtimes Brewing, Huffington Post (UK), Anne, Speckhard, 29 August 2014, ISIS adheres to global jihadist principles and follows the hard-line ideology of al-Qaeda and many other modern-day jihadist groups,{{r|ReutersHolmes_030214|ANS}} which is closely related to Wahhabism.}}According to The Economist, dissidents in the former ISIL capital of Raqqa report that "all 12 of the judges who now run its court system ... are Saudis". Saudi practices also followed by the group include the establishment of religious police to root out "vice" and enforce attendance at salat prayers, the widespread use of capital punishment, and the destruction or re-purposing of any non-Sunni religious buildings.MAGAZINE, Crime and punishment in Saudi Arabia: The other beheaders, The Economist, 20 September 2014,weblink 7 November 2014, Bernard Haykel has described ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism".{{r|ISIS_NYT}} Senior Saudi religious leaders have issued statements condemning ISILNEWS, Staff writer, 'ISIS is enemy No. 1 of Islam,' says Saudi grand mufti,weblink 5 October 2017, Al Arabiyah News English, 19 August 2014, and attempting to distance the group from official Saudi religious beliefs.NEWS, Staff writer, Some Saudi clerics condemn Isil but preach intolerance,weblink 5 October 2017, Gulf News, Reuters, 10 September 2014, ISIL aims to return to the early days of Islam, rejecting all innovations in the religion, which it believes corrupts its original spirit. It condemns later caliphates and the Ottoman Empire for deviating from what it calls pure Islam, and seeks to revive the original Wahhabi project of the restoration of the caliphate governed by strict Salafist doctrine. Following Salafi-Wahhabi tradition, ISIL condemns the followers of secular law as disbelievers, putting the current Saudi Arabian government in that category.Salafists such as ISIL believe that only a legitimate authority can undertake the leadership of jihad, and that the first priority over other areas of combat, such as fighting non-Muslim countries, is the purification of Islamic society. For example, ISIL regards the Palestinian Sunni group Hamas as apostates who have no legitimate authority to lead jihad and see fighting Hamas as the first step toward confrontation by ISIL with Israel.{{r|ISIS_NYT}}NEWS, Mamouri, Ali, Why Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas,weblink 29 July 2014, Al-Monitor, 1 August 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 August 2014,

Islamic eschatology

{{see also|Islamic eschatology}}One difference between ISIL and other Islamist and jihadist movements, including al-Qaeda, is the group's emphasis on eschatology and apocalypticism – that is, a belief in a final Day of Judgment by God, and specifically, a belief that the arrival of one known as Imam Mahdi is near. ISIL believes that it will defeat the army of "Rome" at the town of Dabiq, in fulfilment of prophecy.NEWS,weblink What ISIS Really Wants, Wood, Graeme, 15 February 2015, The Atlantic, 19 February 2015, Following its interpretation of the Hadith of the Twelve Successors, ISIL also believes that after al-Baghdadi there will be only four more legitimate caliphs.The noted scholar of militant Islamism Will McCants writes:}}


Since at latest 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of a Sunni Islamic state.WEB,weblink 17 things about ISIS and Iraq you need to know, Zack, Beauchamp, 2 September 2014, Vox, 5 September 2014, NEWS, Abu Mohammad, Letter dated 9 July 2005,weblink 22 July 2014, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, See page 2 onwards, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 May 2011, Specifically, ISIL has sought to establish itself as a caliphate, an Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leader – the caliph – who is believed to be the successor to Prophet Muhammad. In June 2014, ISIL published a document in which it claimed to have traced the lineage of its leader al-Baghdadi back to Muhammad, and upon proclaiming a new caliphate on 29 June, the group appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. As caliph, he demands the allegiance of all devout Muslims worldwide, according to Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).NEWS,weblink Who is the U.S. targeting in Iraq air strikes?, 7 July 2014, Laith, Kubba, Al Jazeera, ISIL has detailed its goals in its Dabiq magazine, saying it will continue to seize land and take over the entire Earth until its:}}According to German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer, who spent ten days embedded with ISIL in Mosul, the view he kept hearing was that ISIL wants to "conquer the world", and that all who do not believe in the group's interpretation of the Quran will be killed. Todenhöfer was struck by the ISIL fighters' belief that "all religions who agree with democracy have to die",NEWS, Withnall, Adam, Middle East. Inside Isis: The first Western journalist ever to be given access to the 'Islamic State' has just returned – and this is what he discovered,weblink 3 October 2015, Independent, 21 December 2014, and by their "incredible enthusiasm" – including enthusiasm for killing "hundreds of millions" of people.NEWS, Greyvenstein, Hester Maria, Q&A: German journalist on surviving ISIL,weblink 4 October 2015, Al Jazeera, 15 January 2015, Something that I don't understand at all is the enthusiasm in their plan of religious cleansing, planning to kill the non-believers... They also will kill Muslim democrats because they believe that non-ISIL-Muslims put the laws of human beings above the commandments of God. These were very difficult discussions, especially when they were talking about the number of people who they are willing to kill. They were talking about hundreds of millions. They were enthusiastic about it, and I just cannot understand that., When the caliphate was proclaimed, ISIL stated: "The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organisations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas." This was a rejection of the political divisions in Southwestern Asia that were established by the UK and France during World War I in the Sykes–Picot Agreement.NEWS, Tran, Mark, Weaver, Matthew, 30 June 2014, Isis announces Islamic caliphate in area straddling Iraq and Syria,weblink The Guardian, 6 July 2014, NEWS, McGrath, Timothy, Watch this English-speaking ISIS fighter explain how a 98-year-old colonial map created today's conflict,weblink 22 July 2014, Los Angeles Times, GlobalPost, 2 July 2014, WEB,weblink The Islamic State: Leaving al-Qaeda Behind, Romain, Caillet, 27 December 2013, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, All non-Muslim areas would be targeted for conquest after the Muslim lands were dealt with, according to the Islamist manual Management of Savagery.MAGAZINE,weblink The mind of the Islamic State: An ideology of savagery, The Monthly, June 2016, Robert, Manne, BOOK, Assaf, Moghadam, Brian, Fishman, Fault Lines in Global Jihad: Organizational, Strategic, and Ideological Fissures, {{Google books, MLE68zW_7LUC, PA55, yes, |date=10 May 2011 |publisher=Taylor & Francis |isbn=978-1-136-71058-2 |page=55}}REPORT, Assaf, Moghadam, Brian, Fishman, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Debates and Divisions within al-Qa'ida and its Periphery, Harmony Project, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 16 December 2010,weblink dead,weblink 22 October 2016,


Documents found after the death of Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, a former colonel in the intelligence service of the Iraqi Air Force before the US invasion who had been described as "the strategic head" of ISIL, detailed planning for the ISIL takeover of northern Syria which made possible "the group's later advances into Iraq". Al-Khlifawi called for the infiltration of areas to be conquered with spies who would find out "as much as possible about the target towns: Who lived there, who was in charge, which families were religious, which Islamic school of religious jurisprudence they belonged to, how many mosques there were, who the imam was, how many wives and children he had and how old they were". Following this surveillance and espionage would come murder and kidnapping – "the elimination of every person who might have been a potential leader or opponent". In Raqqa, after rebel forces drove out the Assad regime and ISIL infiltrated the town, "first dozens and then hundreds of people disappeared".NEWS, Reuter, Christoph, 18 April 2015, The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State,weblink Der Spiegel, Security and intelligence expert Martin Reardon has described ISIL's purpose as being to psychologically "break" those under its control, "[...] so as to ensure their absolute allegiance through fear and intimidation," while generating, "[...]outright hate and vengeance" among its enemies.NEWS, Reardon, Martin, ISIL and the management of savagery,weblink Al Jazeera, 6 July 2015, Jason Burke, a journalist writing on Salafi jihadism, has written that ISIL's goal is to "terrorize, mobilize [and] polarize".NEWS, Jason, Burke,weblink Islamic State 'Goes Global' with Paris Attacks, The Observer, 14 November 2015, Its efforts to terrorise are intended to intimidate civilian populations and force governments of the target enemy "to make rash decisions that they otherwise would not choose". It aims to mobilise its supporters by motivating them with, for example, spectacular deadly attacks deep in Western territory (such as the November 2015 Paris attacks), to polarise by driving Muslim populations – particularly in the West – away from their governments, thus increasing the appeal of ISIL's self-proclaimed caliphate among them, and to: "Eliminate neutral parties through either absorption or elimination".BOOK, Gude, Ken, Anti-Muslim Sentiment Is a Serious Threat to American Security, November 2015, Center for American Progress, 3,weblink REPORT, Harleen, Gambhir,weblink ISIS Global Intelligence Summary: January 7 – February 18, Washington, DC, Institute for the Study of War, February 2015, Journalist Rukmini Maria Callimachi also emphasises ISIL's interest in polarization or in eliminating what it calls the "grey zone" between the black (non-Muslims) and white (ISIL). "The gray is moderate Muslims who are living in the West and are happy and feel engaged in the society here."NEWS, Chotiner, Isaac, The ISIS Correspondent [interview with Rukmini Callimachi],weblink 12 July 2016, Slate, A work published online in 2004 entitled Management of SavageryBOOK, Abu Bakr, Naji, The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass, 23 May 2006, John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University,weblink (Idarat at Tawahoush), described by several media outlets as influential on ISILNEWS, McCoy, Terrence,weblink The calculated madness of the Islamic State's horrifying brutality, The Washington Post, 12 August 2014, 1 September 2014, NEWS, Alastair, Crooke,weblink The ISIS' 'Management of Savagery' in Iraq, HuffPost, 30 June 2014, NEWS, Hassan, Hassan,weblink Isis has reached new depths of depravity. But there is a brutal logic behind it, The Guardian, 8 February 2015, and intended to provide a strategy to create a new Islamic caliphate,NEWS, Wright, Lawrence, ISIS's Savage Strategy in Iraq,weblink The New Yorker, 16 June 2014, 1 September 2014, recommended a strategy of attack outside its territory in which fighters would, "Diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the Crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside of it if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy and thus drain it to the greatest extent possible."NEWS, Atran, Scott, Hamid, Nafees, Paris: The War ISIS Wants,weblink The New York Review of Books, 20 November 2015, 16 November 2015, The group has been accused of attempting to "bolster morale" and distract attention from its loss of territory to enemies by staging terror attacks abroad (such as the 6 June 2017 attacks on Tehran, the 22 May 2017 bombing in Manchester, UK, and the 3 June 2017 attacks in London that ISIL claimed credit for).NEWS,weblink Iran Assails Saudi Arabia After Pair of Deadly Terrorist Attacks, Erdbrink, Thomas, 7 June 2017, The New York Times,


{{Ba'athism sidebar}}Raqqa in Syria was under ISIL control from 2013 and in 2014 it became the group's de facto capital city.NEWS,weblink 24 July 2014, Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side, 5 September 2014, Ben, Hubbard, The New York Times, On 17 October 2017, following a lengthy battle that saw massive destruction to the city, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the full capture of Raqqa from ISIL.

Leadership and governance

{{Further|List of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant members}}File:Mugshot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 2004.jpg|thumb|upright|Mugshot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by US armed forces while in detention at Camp BuccaCamp BuccaISIL is headed and run by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State's self-styled Caliph. Before their deaths, he had two deputy leaders, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani for Iraq and Abu Ali al-Anbari (also known as Abu Ala al-Afri)NEWS, Michael, Weiss, Hassan, Hassan, Everything We Knew About This ISIS Mastermind Was Wrong,weblink The Daily Beast, 15 April 2016, 1 May 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 2 May 2016, dead, for Syria, both ethnic Turkmen. Advising al-Baghdadi is a cabinet of senior leaders, while its operations in Iraq and Syria are controlled by local 'emirs,' who head semi-autonomous groups which the Islamic State refers to as its provinces.WEB, Richard, Barrett, The Islamic State,weblink Soufan Group, November 2014, 23 April 2015, NEWS, Jack, Moore, ISIS Replace Injured Leader Baghdadi With Former Physics Teacher,weblink Newsweek, 22 April 2015, 7 May 2015, Beneath the leaders are councils on finance, leadership, military matters, legal matters (including decisions on executions) foreign fighters' assistance, security, intelligence and media. In addition, a shura council has the task of ensuring that all decisions made by the governors and councils comply with the group's interpretation of sharia.NEWS, Thompson, Nick, Shubert, Attika, The anatomy of ISIS: How the 'Islamic State' is run, from oil to beheadings,weblink 21 September 2014, CNN, 18 September 2014, While al-Baghdadi has told followers to "advise me when I err" in sermons, according to observers "any threat, opposition, or even contradiction is instantly eradicated".MAGAZINE, Ruthven, Malise, Inside the Islamic State. Review of Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate by Abdel Bari Atwan, The New York Review of Books, 9 July 2015,weblink (File:ISIL_Caliphate_Seal.svg|thumb|left|The seal of ISILWEB,weblink New video message from The Islamic State: "Fulfilling the Promise – Wilāyat al-'Irāq, Kirkūk", Aaron Y., Zelin, 29 January 2019, WEB, Statement of ISIS – The Battle of Brussels,weblink, ar, WEB, ISIS ID CARD,weblink, )According to Iraqis, Syrians and analysts who study the group, almost all of ISIL's leaders—including the members of its military and security committees and the majority of its emirs and princes—are former Iraqi military and intelligence officers, specifically former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath government who lost their jobs and pensions in the de-Ba'athification process after that regime was overthrown.NEWS, Sly, Liz, How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis, Independent, 5 April 2015,weblink NEWS, Liz, Sly, 4 April 2015, The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein's, The Washington Post,weblink NEWS, Military Skill and Terrorist Technique Fuel Success of ISIS,weblink The New York Times, 27 August 2014, 28 August 2014, Ben, Hubbard, Eric, Schmitt, NEWS, Sly, Liz, 5 April 2015, How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis,weblink Independent, London, 21 April 2015, But American officials didn't anticipate that they would become not only adjuncts to al-Qaeda, but core members of the jihadist group. They were instrumental in the group's rebirth from the defeats inflicted on insurgents by the US military, which is now back in Iraq bombing many of the same men it had already fought twice before., The former Chief Strategist in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the US State Department, David Kilcullen, has said that "There undeniably would be no Isis if we had not invaded Iraq."NEWS, Lizzie, Dearden,weblink Former US military adviser David Kilcullen says there would be no Isis without Iraq invasion, Independent, 4 March 2016, 8 March 2016, It has been reported that Iraqis and Syrians have been given greater precedence over other nationalities within ISIL because the group needs the loyalties of the local Sunni populations in both Syria and Iraq in order to be sustainable.NEWS, Eli, Lake, Foreign Recruits Are Islamic State's Cannon Fodder, Bloomberg News, 11 February 2015,weblink WEB, Iraqis, Saudis call shots in Raqa, ISIL's Syrian 'capital', Channel NewsAsia, 19 June 2014,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 February 2015, Other reports, however, have indicated that Syrians are at a disadvantage to foreign members, with some native Syrian fighters resenting "favouritism" allegedly shown towards foreigners over pay and accommodation.NEWS, Splits in Islamic State Emerge as Its Ranks Expand,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 9 March 2015, 11 April 2015, Maria, Abi-Habib, NEWS, In Islamic State Stronghold of Raqqa, Foreign Fighters Dominate,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 4 February 2015, 11 April 2015, Yaroslav, Trofimov, In August 2016, media reports based on briefings by Western intelligence agencies suggested that ISIL had a multilevel secret service known in Arabic as Emni, established in 2014, that has become a combination of an internal police force and an external operations directorate complete with regional branches. The unit was believed to be under the overall command of ISIL's most senior Syrian operative, spokesman and propaganda chief Abu Mohammad al-AdnaniWEB,weblink IS group unit known as 'Emni' aims to export terror around the world – France 24, 4 August 2016, NEWS, Rukmini, Callimachi, How a Secretive Branch of ISIS Built a Global Network of Killers, 3 August 2016, 7 August 2016,weblink The New York Times, until his death by airstrike in late August 2016.WEB, Martin, Chulov, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani's death does not signal the demise of Isis, 31 August 2016, The Guardian, 31 August 2016,weblink

Civilians in ISIL-controlled areas

{{further|Collaboration with ISIL}}{{anchor|war crimes}}In 2014 The Wall Street Journal estimated that eight million people lived in the Islamic State.{{YouTube | id=1HzMucorCwo | title=The Islamic State: How Its Leadership Is Organized}} The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has stated that ISIL "seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey".WEB, Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria,weblink United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 29 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 4 February 2015, Civilians, as well as the Islamic State itself, have released footage of some of the human rights abuses.AV MEDIA,weblink Two women release extraordinary footage of what life is really like living under Isis, Independent, 13 March 2016, NEWS,weblink 13 October 2016, Deserters describe life under ISIL rule, 21 October 2016, Al Jazeera, Social control of civilians was by imposition of ISIL's reading of sharia law,NEWS, McCoy, Terrence, 13 June 2013, ISIL, beheadings and the success of horrifying violence,weblink The Washington Post, 23 June 2014, enforced by morality police forces known as Al-Hisbah and the all-women Al-Khanssaa Brigade, a general police force, courts, and other entities managing recruitment, tribal relations, and education. Al-Hisbah was led by Abu Muhammad al-Jazrawi.WEB,weblink Islamic State replaces Syrian officials by foreign jihadists in Raqqa, ARA News, Haytham Mustafa, 31 December 2016, 31 December 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 January 2017,


Number of combatants

{{Bar chart| float=rightThe International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence>ICSR high-end estimatesHTTP://ECONOMICSANDPEACE.ORG/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2015/11/GLOBAL-TERRORISM-INDEX-2015.PDF >TITLE=GLOBAL TERRORISM INDEX 2015 INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE >DATE=OCTOBER 2015, 46–47, | label_type = Country| data_type = Fighters data1 = 3,000 data2 = 2,500 data3 = 1,500 data4 = 1,500 data5 = 1,500 data6 = 1,200 data7 = 900 data8 = 600 data10 = 600 data9 = 500 data11 = 500 data12 = 500 data13 = 500}}Estimates of the size of ISIL's military have varied widely, from tens of thousandsWEB,weblink Sa është numri i xhihadistëve të ISIS-it?, How Many Jihadists ISIS?, Albanian, Top Channel, Tirana, Albania, 22 February 2015, up to 200,000.{{r|Indep161114}}In early 2015, journalist Mary Anne Weaver estimated that half of ISIL fighters were foreigners.NEWS, Weaver, Mary Anne, Her Majesty's Jihadists,weblink 14 April 2015, The New York Times, 19 April 2015, A UN report estimated a total of 15,000 fighters from over 80 countries were in ISIL's ranks in November 2014.NEWS,weblink UN Report on 15,000 Foreigners Joining ISIS Fighters in Syria And Iraq Will Shock You, International Business Times,weblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2014, US intelligence estimated an increase to around 20,000 foreign fighters in February 2015, including 3,400 from the Western world.NEWS, Robert, Windrem, ISIS By the Numbers: Foreign Fighter Total Keeps Growing,weblink NBC News, 28 February 2015, 10 December 2015, In September 2015, the CIA estimated that 30,000 foreign fighters had joined ISIL.Sarhan, Arme. "CIA: 30,000 foreign fighters have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS". Iraq News. 29 September 2015.According to Abu Hajjar, a former senior leader of ISIL, foreign fighters receive food, petrol and housing, but unlike native Iraqi or Syrian fighters, they do not receive payment in wages.NEWS, World's Richest Terror Army,weblink BBC, 24 April 2015, 25:06 – within a 59 minute programme, excerpt from, interview with Abu Hajjar, a former "senior leader of IS": "How much money would a foreign fighter receive as a wage?" "A foreigner? They aren't given a salary. They are given food and housing, not money.", Since 2012, more than 3000 people from the central Asian countries have gone to Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan to join the Islamic State or Jabhat al Nusra.WEB,weblink Kyrgyzstan: Abusive Crackdowns on 'Extremist' Material, 17 September 2018, Human Rights Watch, {{anchor|Equipment}}

Conventional weapons

ISIL relies mostly on captured weapons with major sources including Saddam Hussein's Iraqi stockpiles from the 2003–11 Iraq insurgencyNEWS, Insight into How Insurgents Fought in Iraq,weblink 17 October 2013, The New York Times, 22 August 2014, John, Ismay, and weapons from government and opposition forces fighting in the Syrian Civil War and during the post-US withdrawal Iraqi insurgency. The captured weapons, including armour, guns, surface-to-air missiles, and even some aircraft, enabled rapid territorial growth and facilitated the capture of additional equipment.NEWS, Charles, Lister, Not Just Iraq: The Islamic State Is Also on the March in Syria,weblink HuffPost, 7 August 2014, 11 August 2014, For example, ISIL captured US-made TOW anti-tank missiles supplied by the United States and Saudi Arabia to the Free Syrian Army in Syria."ISIS used US-made anti-tank missiles near Palmyra". Business Insider. 9 June 2015."U.S. missile brought down Russian helicopter in Syria: report". Japan Times. 10 July 2016. Ninety percent of the group's weapons ultimately originated in China, Russia or Eastern Europe according to Conflict Armament Research.NEWS, Crawford, Jamie, Report details where ISIS gets its weapons,weblink 27 December 2017, CNN, 14 December 2017,

Non-conventional weapons

The group uses truck and car bombs, suicide bombers and IEDs, and has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria.NEWS,weblink United States Department of the Treasury, Treasury Targets ISIS Leader Involved in Chemical Weapons Development, 12 June 2017, Al-Jaburi is an Iraq-based, ISIS senior leader in charge of factories producing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), and explosives, and he is involved in the development of chemical weapons, ISIL captured nuclear materials from Mosul University in July 2014, but is unlikely to be able to convert them into weapons.NEWS, Cowell, Alan, Low-Grade Nuclear Material Is Seized by Rebels in Iraq, U.N. Says,weblink 15 July 2014, The New York Times, 10 July 2014, NEWS, Sherlock, Ruth, Iraq jihadists seize 'nuclear material', says ambassador to UN,weblink 15 July 2014, The Telegraph, 10 July 2014, London, In September 2015 a US official stated that ISIL was manufacturing and using mustard agent in Syria and Iraq, and had an active chemical weapons research team.NEWS,weblink US official: 'IS making and using chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria', Paul, Blake, BBC, 11 September 2015, 16 September 2015, NEWS,weblink Isis 'manufacturing and using chemical weapons' in Iraq and Syria, US official claims, Lizzie, Dearden, Independent, London, 11 September 2015, 16 September 2015, ISIL has also used water as a weapon of war. The group closed the gates of the smaller Nuaimiyah dam in Fallujah in April 2014, flooding the surrounding regions, while cutting the water supply to the Shia-dominated south. Around 12,000 families lost their homes and 200 km2 of villages and fields were either flooded or dried up. The economy of the region also suffered with destruction of cropland and electricity shortages.REPORT, Water and Violence Link: Crisis of Survival in the Middle East,weblink Strategic Foresight, Mumbai, India, December 2014, 978-81-88262-24-3, File:Captured ISIL fighter in Saladin Governorate (4).jpg|thumb|right|An ISIL fighter captured by Iraqi Security Forces near TikritTikritDuring the Battle of Mosul, commercially available quadcopters and drones were being used by ISIL as surveillance and weapons delivery platforms using improvised cradles to drop grenades and other explosives.WEB,weblink Weaponized Mini-Drones Entering the Fight, Eshel, Tamir, 12 October 2016, Defense Update, 25 February 2017, One ISIL drone base was struck and destroyed by two Royal Air Force Tornado using two Paveway IV guided bombs.WEB,weblink RAF Strikes Daesh Drone Facility in Mosul, Eshel, Tamir, 17 January 2017, Defense Update, 25 February 2017,

Non-combatant recruits

Although ISIL attracts followers from different parts of the world by promoting the image of holy war, not all of its recruits end up in combatant roles. There have been several cases of new recruits expecting to be mujahideen who have returned from Syria disappointed by the everyday jobs that were assigned to them, such as drawing water or cleaning toilets, or by the ban imposed on use of mobile phones during military training sessions.NEWS, Simon, Tomlinson,weblink 'ISIS made me clean the toilets... and my iPod didn't work': How disenchanted Islamic fanatics are returning home because jihad isn't as glamorous as they hoped, 1 December 2014, 22 January 2015, London, Daily Mail,


ISIL publishes material directed at women, with media groups encouraging them to play supportive roles within ISIL, such as providing first aid, cooking, nursing and sewing skills, in order to become "good wives of jihad".NEWS,weblink Isis now targeting women with guides on how to be the 'ultimate wives of jihad', 31 October 2014, 22 January 2015, London, Independent, Heather, Saul, In 2015, it was estimated that western women made up over 550, or 10%, of ISIL's western foreign fighters.JOURNAL, Perešin, Anita, Fatal Attraction: Western Muslimas and ISIS, Perspectives on Terrorism, 2015, 9, 3, 22, 2334-3745, The exact number of Muslim women from the West who joined ISIS is still not officially confirmed. It is estimated that their number exceeds 550, or that they represent 10 percent of the number of all ISIS' Western foreign fighters., 26297379, Until 2016, women were generally confined to a "women's house" upon arrival which they were unallowed to leave. These houses were often small, dirty and infested with vermin and food supply was scarce. There they remained until they either had found a husband, or the husband they had arrived with had completed his training. After being allowed to leave the confinement, women still generally spent most of their days indoors where their lives are devoted to caring for their husbands and the vast majority of women in the conflict area have children. Mothers play an important role passing on ISIL ideology to their children. Widows are encouraged to remarry.WEB,weblink Jihadist women, a threat not to be underestimated – Publication – pdf, Koninkrijksrelaties, Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en, 14 December 2017, AIVD, 6, en-GB, 1 December 2018, In a document entitled Women in the Islamic State: Manifesto and Case Study released by the media wing of ISIL's all-female Al-Khanssaa Brigade, emphasis is given to the paramount importance of marriage and motherhood (as early as nine years old). Women should live a life of "sedentariness", fulfilling her "divine duty of motherhood" at home, with a few exceptions like teachers and doctors.MAGAZINE, Abdul-Alim, Jamaal, ISIS 'Manifesto' Spells Out Role for Women, The Atlantic, 8 March 2015,weblink 23 November 2015, WEB, Winter, Charlie, QUILLIAM Translation and Analysis of Islamic State Manifesto on Jihadist Brides,weblink Quilliam Foundation, 23 November 2015, 5 February 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 January 2016, Equality for women is opposed, as is education on non-religious subjects, the "worthless worldly sciences".


{{visible anchor|Propaganda|Propaganda and social media}}

ISIL is known for its extensive and effective use of propaganda.NEWS,weblink Selling terror: how Isis details its brutality, 17 June 2014, Jones, Sam, Roula, Khalaf, Financial Times, 18 June 2014, NEWS, Stone, Jeff, 17 June 2014, ISIS Attacks Twitter Streams, Hacks Accounts To Make Jihadi Message Go Viral,weblink International Business Times, 19 June 2014, It uses a version of the Muslim Black Standard flag and developed an emblem which has clear symbolic meaning in the Muslim world.

Traditional media

In November 2006, shortly after the group's rebranding as the "Islamic State of Iraq", it established the Al-Furqan Foundation for Media Production, which produces CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products and official statements.NEWS, Bill, Roggio, US targets al Qaeda's al Furqan media wing in Iraq, Long War Journal, 28 October 2007,weblink It began to expand its media presence in 2013, with the formation of a second media wing, Al-I'tisam Media Foundation, in March{{Harvnb|Bilger|2014|p=1}}.{{full citation needed|date=September 2016}}WEB, Zelin, Aaron Y., New statement from the Global Islamic Media Front: Announcement on the Publishing of al-I'tiṣām Media Foundation – A Subsidiary of the Islamic State of Iraq – It Will Be Released Via GIMF,weblink Jihadology, 8 March 2013, 24 June 2014, and the Ajnad Foundation for Media Production, specialising in nasheeds and audio content, in August.WEB, Zelin, Aaron Y.,weblink New statement from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shām: "Announcing Ajnād Foundation For Media Production", Jihadology, 20 August 2013, 8 June 2015, In mid-2014, ISIL established the Al Hayat Media Center, which targets Western audiences and produces material in English, German, Russian and French.WEB, Gertz, Bill, New Al Qaeda Group Produces Recruitment Material for Americans, Westerners,weblink The Washington Free Beacon, 13 June 2014, 24 June 2014, WEB, ISIS Declares Islamic Caliphate, Appoints Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi As 'Caliph', Declares All Muslims Must Pledge Allegiance To Him,weblink MEMRI, 30 June 2014, 7 July 2014, When ISIL announced its expansion to other countries in November 2014 it established media departments for the new branches, and its media apparatus ensured that the new branches follow the same models it uses in Iraq and Syria.NEWS, The Islamic State's model,weblink 30 March 2015, The Washington Post, 28 January 2015, Aaron Y., Zelin, Then FBI Director James Comey said that ISIL's "propaganda is unusually slick," noting that, "They are broadcasting... in something like 23 languages".NEWS, Sullivan, Kevin, 8 December 2014, Three American teens, recruited online, are caught trying to join the Islamic State,weblink The Washington Post, 9 December 2014, In July 2014, al-Hayat began publishing a digital magazine called Dabiq, in a number of different languages including English.JOURNAL, Islam and the Islamic State's Magazine, Dabiq, Tim, Jacoby, 10.1017/S1755048318000561, Cambridge University Press, 14 August 2018, 2, 1, 32–54, Cambridge Core, According to the magazine, its name is taken from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, which is mentioned in a hadith about Armageddon.WEB, Dabiq: What Islamic State's New Magazine Tells Us about Their Strategic Direction, Recruitment Patterns and Guerrilla Doctrine,weblink The Jamestown Foundation, 1 August 2014, 2019-08-09, Al-Hayat also began publishing other digital magazines, including the Turkish language Konstantiniyye, the Ottoman word for Istanbul,WEB, Akkoc, Raziye,weblink Ankara bombings: Islamic State is main suspect, says Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu, The Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2015, 2 December 2015, NEWS, Isabel, Hunter,weblink Suruc bombings: Turkish President accused of not doing enough to help Kurds fight Isis threat across its border in Syria, Independent, 22 July 2015, 2 December 2015, and the French language Dar al-Islam.WEB, Jihadists Release First Issue of Pro-IS French Magazine "Dar al-Islam", SITE Intelligence Group, 22 December 2014, 31 March 2016,weblink By late 2016, these magazines had apparently all been discontinued, with Al-Hayat's material being consolidated into a new magazine called Rumiyah (Arabic for Rome).WEB,weblink The Virtual Caliphate: ISIS'S Information Warfare, Institute for the Study of War, 7 February 2017, As of late 2016, Rumiyah has apparently supplanted other internationally oriented publications, as al-Hayat has ceased publishing them, The group also runs a radio network called Al-Bayan, which airs bulletins in Arabic, Russian and English and provides coverage of its activities in Iraq, Syria and Libya.NEWS, Islamic State launches English-language radio bulletins,weblink The Daily Telegraph, 18 May 2015, London, 7 April 2015,

Social media

ISIL's use of social media has been described by one expert as "probably more sophisticated than [that of] most US companies".WEB, Berger, J. M., 16 June 2014, How ISIS Games Twitter,weblink The Atlantic, 19 June 2014, It regularly uses social media, particularly Twitter, to distribute its messages.WEB, ISIS Propaganda Campaign Threatens U.S.,weblink 27 June 2014, Anti-Defamation League, 27 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 29 June 2014, dead, The group uses the encrypted instant messaging service Telegram to disseminate images, videos and updates.WEB,weblink Isis Telegram channel doubles followers to 9,000 in less than 1 week, 12 October 2015, Yahoo News, The group is known for releasing videos and photographs of executions of prisoners, whether beheadings, shootings, caged prisoners being burnt alive or submerged gradually until drowned.NEWS, Lee, Ian, Hanna, Jason, Croatian ISIS captive reportedly beheaded,weblink 12 August 2015, CNN, 12 August 2015, Journalist Abdel Bari Atwan described ISIL's media content as part of a "systematically applied policy". The escalating violence of its killings "guarantees" the attention of the media and public.Along with images of brutality, ISIL presents itself as "an emotionally attractive place where people 'belong', where everyone is a 'brother' or 'sister'". The "most potent psychological pitch" of ISIL media is the promise of heavenly reward to dead jihadist fighters. Frequently posted in their media are dead jihadists' smiling faces, the ISIL 'salute' of a 'right-hand index finger pointing heavenward', and testimonies of happy widows. ISIL has also attempted to present a more "rational argument" in a series of videos hosted by the kidnapped journalist John Cantlie. In one video, various current and former US officials were quoted, such as the then US President Barack Obama and former CIA Officer Michael Scheuer.NEWS, Walsh, Michael, ISIS releases second 'lecture video' of British hostage John Cantlie,weblink 6 October 2014, Daily News, New York, 23 September 2014, It has encouraged sympathisers to initiate vehicle-ramming and attacks worldwide.JOURNAL, Thomas, Hegghammer, Petter, Nesser, Assessing the Islamic State's Commitment to Attacking the West, Perspectives on Terrorism, Terrorism Research Initiative, 9, 4, 9 July 2015, 2334-3745,weblink


{{See also|Oil production and smuggling in ISIL}}According to a 2015 study by the Financial Action Task Force, ISIL's five primary sources of revenue are as follows (listed in order of significance):
  • proceeds from the occupation of territory (including control of banks, petroleum reservoirs, taxation, extortion, and robbery of economic assets)
  • kidnapping for ransomNEWS,weblink Inside the Islamic State kidnap machine, 22 September 2015, BBC News, 9 October 2016,
  • donations from Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, often disguised as meant for "humanitarian charity"
  • material support provided by foreign fighters
  • fundraising through modern communication networksNEWS, Financing of the Terrorist Organisation Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,weblink 19 April 2015, Financial Action Task Force, February 2015,
Since 2012, ISIL has produced annual reports giving numerical information on its operations, somewhat in the style of corporate reports, seemingly in a bid to encourage potential donors.NEWS,weblink The surreal infographics ISIS is producing, translated, 24 July 2014, Vox, Matthews, Dylan, 25 July 2014, In 2014, the RAND Corporation analysed ISIL's funding sources from documents captured between 2005 and 2010. It found that outside donations amounted to only 5% of the group's operating budgets, and that cells inside Iraq were required to send up to 20% of the income generated from kidnapping, extortion rackets and other activities to the next level of the group's leadership, which would then redistribute the funds to provincial or local cells that were in difficulties or needed money to conduct attacks.NEWS, Allam, Hannah,weblink Records show how Iraqi extremists withstood U.S. anti-terror efforts, McClatchy News, 23 June 2014, 25 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 25 June 2014, dead, In 2016, RAND estimated that ISIL finances from its largest source of income — oil revenues and the taxes it extracts from people under its control — had fallen from about $1.9 billion in 2014 to $870 million.NEWS,weblink Man Without an ISIS Plan, The Editorial Board, 12 March 2017, The New York Times, 13 March 2017, 0362-4331, In mid-2014, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service obtained information that ISIL had assets worth US$2 billion,NEWS, Chulov, Martin,weblink How an arrest in Iraq revealed Isis's $2bn jihadist network, 15 June 2014, The Guardian, 17 June 2014, making it the richest jihadist group in the world.NEWS, Moore, Jack, 11 June 2014, Mosul Seized: Jihadis Loot $429m from City's Central Bank to Make Isis World's Richest Terror Force,weblink International Business Times, 19 June 2014, About three-quarters of this sum was said to looted from Mosul's central bank and commercial banks in the city.NEWS, McCoy, Terrence, 12 June 2014, ISIS just stole $425 million, Iraqi governor says, and became the 'world's richest terrorist group',weblink The Washington Post, 18 June 2014, NEWS, Carey, Glen, Haboush, Mahmoud, Viscusi, Gregory, Financing Jihad: Why ISIS Is a Lot Richer Than Al-Qaeda,weblink 19 July 2014, Bloomberg News, 26 June 2014, However, doubt was later cast on whether ISIL was able to retrieve anywhere near that sum from the central bank,NEWS, Robert, Windrem, U.S. Official Doubts ISIS Mosul Bank Heist Windfall,weblink 22 July 2014, NBC News, 24 June 2014, and even on whether the looting had actually occurred.NEWS, Daragahi, Borzou, Biggest bank robbery that 'never happened' – $400m Isis heist,weblink 21 July 2014, Financial Times, 17 July 2014, subscription,

Monetary system

ISIL attempted to create a modern gold dinar by minting gold, silver, and copper coins, based on the coinage used by the Umayyad Caliphate in the 7th century.NEWS,weblink Isis to mint own Islamic dinar coins in gold, silver and copper, The Guardian, 21 November 2014, WEB, Islamic State reportedly buying silver, gold as it prepares to issue currency,weblink McClatchy, 21 November 2014, 20 November 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 July 2015, NEWS, Islamic State announces its own currency,weblink The Telegraph, 21 November 2014, 14 November 2014, London, Josie, Ensor, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 November 2014, NEWS, Marwan, Jabbar, Niqash,weblink'Fake'-Currency.htm, Gold at End of Extremist Rainbow: Islamic State Release Their Own 'Fake' Currency, Baghdad, 3 September 2015, Despite a propaganda push for the currency, adoption appeared to have been minimal and its internal economy is effectively dollarized, even with regards to its own fines.NEWS, Dearden, Lizzie, Isis fails to bring in own currency, relies on 'satanic' US dollars instead,weblink 6 March 2018, The Independent, 25 March 2016,


{{anchor|JTJ}}File:UNOfficeofHumanitarianCoordinator-Baghdad (UN DF-SD-04-02188).jpg|thumb|The UN headquarters building in Baghdad after the Canal Hotel bombingCanal Hotel bombingThe group was founded in 1999 by Jordanian Salafi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi under the name Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād ({{Literal translation|"The Organisation of Monotheism and Jihad"}}). In a letter published by the Coalition in February 2004, Zarqawi wrote that jihadis should use bombings to start an open sectarian war so that Sunnis from the Islamic world would mobilize against assassinations carried out by Shia, specifically the Badr Brigade, against Ba'athists and Sunnis."Zarqawi Letter" State Dept. archives

Territorial control and claims

{{anchor|territorialclaim}}As a self-proclaimed worldwide caliphate, ISIL claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide, and that "the legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organisations, becomes null by the expansion of the khilāfah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas".NEWS, Johnson, M. Alex,weblink 'Deviant and Pathological': What Do ISIS Extremists Really Want?, 3 September 2014, NBC News, 5 September 2014, In Iraq and Syria, ISIL used many of those countries' existing governorate boundaries to subdivide territory it conquered and claimed; it called these divisions wilayah or provinces.WEB,weblink ISIS Governance in Syria, July 2014, Charles C., Caris, Samuel, Reynolds, Institute for the Study of War, By June 2015, ISIL had also established official "provinces" in Libya, Egypt (Sinai Peninsula), Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and the North Caucasus.NEWS, Islamic State moves in on al-Qaeda turf, BBC News,weblink 25 June 2015, 7 July 2015, ISIL received pledges of allegiance and publish media releases from groups in countries like Somalia,NEWS, Islamic State in Somalia claims capture of port town,weblink Caleb, Weiss, The Long War Journal, 26 October 2016, BangladeshJOURNAL, How Bangladesh Became Fertile Ground for al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State,weblink Animesh, Roul, CTC Sentinel, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, May 2016, 9, 5, and the Philippines,NEWS, The Islamic State grows in the Philippines, Caleb, Weiss,weblink The Long War Journal, 24 June 2016, but it has not announced any further official branches, instead identifying new affiliates as simply "soldiers of the caliphate".WEB, Charlie, Winter, War on the Rocks, Has the Islamic State Abandoned Its Provincial Model in the Philippines?, 22 July 2016,weblink By March 2019, ISIL had lost most of its territory in its former core areas in Syria and Iraq, and was reduced to a desert pocket as well as insurgent cells.WEB,weblink Although they have been besieged by Russia, Iran, and the regime for two years, thousands of ISIS members are still within an area of 4000 km2 without any intention to launch a military operation against them, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 20 February 2019,

International reaction

Classification as a terrorist organisation

Many countries and international bodies have officially designated ISIL as a terrorist organisation.{{anchor|Criticism}}{{anchor|IslamicCriticism}}

International criticism

The group has attracted widespread criticism internationally for its extremism, from governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. On 24 September 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated: "As Muslim leaders around the world have said, groups like ISIL – or Da'ish – have nothing to do with Islam, and they certainly do not represent a state. They should more fittingly be called the 'Un-Islamic Non-State'."WEB, Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General's remarks to Security Council High-Level Summit on Foreign Terrorist Fighters,weblink United Nations, 18 November 2014, 24 September 2014, ISIL has been classified a terrorist organisation by the United Nations, the European Union and its member states, the United States, Russia, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many other countries (see {{see section||Classification}}). Over 60 countries are directly or indirectly waging war against ISIL (see {{see section||Countries and groups at war with ISIL}}). The group was described as a cult in a Huffington Post column by notable cult authority Steven Hassan.NEWS, Hassan, Steven, ISIS Is a Cult That Uses Terrorism: A Fresh New Strategy,weblink The World Post, 10 November 2014, 21 October 2014,

Islamic criticism

{{See also|Khawarij}}Around the world, Islamic religious leaders have overwhelmingly condemned ISIL's ideology and actions, arguing that the group has strayed from the path of true Islam and that its actions do not reflect the religion's real teachings or virtues.MAGAZINE, Hasan, Mehdi, Medhi Hasan, 10 March 2015, Mehdi Hasan: How Islamic is Islamic State?,weblink New Statesman, 7 July 2015, Consider the various statements of Muslim groups such as the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, representing 57 countries (Isis has "nothing to do with Islam"); the Islamic Society of North America (Isis's actions are "in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches"); al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most prestigious seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world (Isis is acting "under the guise of this holy religion ... in an attempt to export their false Islam"); and even Saudi Arabia's Salafist Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al ash-Sheikh (Isis is "the number-one enemy of Islam")., Extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century, to the Khawarijes. From their essentially political position, the Kharijites developed extreme doctrines which set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims. They were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed worthy of death.BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, xvii–xviii, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, NEWS, Sheema, Khan, 29 September 2014,weblink Another battle with Islam's 'true believers', The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Canada, REPORT, Usama, Hasan, The Balance of Islam in Challenging Extremism,weblink Quilliam Foundation, July 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 August 2014, NEWS,weblink Imam Mohamad Jebara: Fruits of the tree of extremism, Mohamad, Jebara, Ottawa Citizen, 6 February 2015, Other scholars have also described the group not as Sunnis, but as Khawarij.BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, xvii–xviii, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, See also p.8. Sunni critics, including Salafi and jihadist muftis such as Adnan al-Aroor and Abu Basir al-Tartusi, say that ISIL and related terrorist groups are not Sunnis, but are instead modern-day Kharijites (Muslims who have stepped outside the mainstream of Islam) serving an imperial anti-Islamic agenda.NEWS,weblink The slow backlash – Sunni religious authorities turn against Islamic State, 6 September 2014, The Economist, ISIL has received severe criticism from Muslim religious scholars and theologians. In late August 2014, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, condemned ISIL and al-Qaeda saying, "Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilization, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims".NEWS, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti denounces Islamic State group as un-Islamic,weblink Reuters, 18 November 2014, 25 August 2014, In late September 2014, 126 Sunni imams and Islamic scholars—primarily SufiWEB,weblink Muslim Scholars Letter to al-Baghdadi of ISIS or ISIL – A Missed Opportunity, 1 October 2014, Amad, Shaikh, Muslim Matters, 8 November 2014, —from around the Muslim world signed an open letter to the Islamic State's leader al-Baghdadi, explicitly rejecting and refuting his group's interpretations of Islamic scriptures, the Quran and hadith, which it used in order to justify its actions.NEWS, Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter to Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology,weblink HuffPost, 24 September 2013, Lauren, Markoe, Religious News Service, 25 September 2014, NEWS, Smith, Samuel, International Coalition of Muslim Scholars Refute ISIS' Religious Arguments in Open Letter to al-Baghdadi,weblink 18 October 2014, The Christian Post, 25 September 2014, "[You] have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder ... this is a great wrong and an offence to Islam, to Muslims and to the entire world", the letter states. It rebukes the Islamic State for its killing of prisoners, describing the killings as "heinous war crimes" and its persecution of the Yazidis of Iraq as "abominable". Referring to the "self-described 'Islamic State'", the letter censures the group for carrying out killings and acts of brutality under the guise of jihad—holy struggle—saying that its "sacrifice" without legitimate cause, goals and intention "is not jihad at all, but rather, warmongering and criminality".NEWS, Isis is 'an offence to Islam', says international coalition of major Islamic scholars,weblink 8 October 2014, Independent, More than 120 Sunni imams and academics, including some of the Muslim world's most respected scholars, signed the 18-page document which outlines 24 separate grounds on which the terror group violates the tenets of Islam., London, Cahal, Milmo, 25 September 2014, It also accuses the group of instigating fitna—sedition—by instituting slavery under its rule in contravention of the anti-slavery consensus of the Islamic scholarly community.WEB, Open Letter to Al-Baghdadi,weblink September 2014, 25 September 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 September 2014, File:Wien - Kobane-Demo 2014-10-10 - V.jpg|thumb|Kurdish demonstration against ISIL in ViennaVienna{{anchor|NYTquotestheorists}}According to The New York Times, "All of the most influential jihadist theorists are criticising the Islamic State as deviant, calling its self-proclaimed caliphate null and void" and they have denounced it for its beheadings of journalists and aid workers.{{r|ISIS_NYT}} ISIL is widely denounced by a broad range of Islamic clerics, including al-Qaeda-oriented clerics and Saudi clerics.{{r|HuffPost_Wahhabi|ISIS_NYT}} Muhammad al-Yaqoubi states, "It is enough of a proof of the extreme ideology of ISIS that the top leaders of Salafi-Jihadism have disclaimed it."BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, 19, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, {{anchor|Khawarij}} Other critics of ISIL's brand of Sunni Islam include Salafists who previously publicly supported jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda: for example, the Saudi government official Saleh Al-Fawzan, known for his extremist views, who claims that ISIL is a creation of "Zionists, Crusaders and Safavids", and the Jordanian-Palestinian writer Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, the former spiritual mentor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was released from prison in Jordan in June 2014 and accused ISIL of driving a wedge between Muslims.The group's declaration of a caliphate has been criticised and its legitimacy has been disputed by Middle Eastern governments, other jihadist groups,NEWS,weblink "They're delusional": Rivals ridicule ISIS declaration of Islamic state, CBS News, 30 June 2014, 4 July 2014, and by Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated: "[The] declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria", adding that the title of caliph can "only be given by the entire Muslim nation", not by a single group.NEWS, Strange, Hannah, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul,weblink 6 July 2014, The Telegraph, 5 July 2014, London, The group's execution of Muslims for breach of traditional sharia law while violating it itself (encouraging women to emigrate to its territory, travelling without a Wali—male guardian—and in violation of his wishes) has been criticised;MAGAZINE, Creswell, Robyn, Haykel, Bernard, Battle Lines, The New Yorker, 8 June 2015,weblink 6 June 2015, In the most recent issue of Dabiq, ISIS's English-language magazine, a female writer encourages women to emigrate to "the lands of the Islamic State" even if it means travelling without a male companion, a shocking breach of traditional Islamic law. This may be a cynical ploy—a lure for runaways. But it is in keeping with the jihadists' attack on parental authority and its emphasis on individual empowerment, including the power of female believers to renounce families they do not view as authentically Muslim., as has its love of archaic imagery (horsemen and swords) while engaging in bid'ah (religious innovation) in establishing female religious police (known as Al-Khansaa Brigade).MAGAZINE, Creswell, Robyn, Haykel, Bernard, Battle Lines, The New Yorker, 8 June 2015,weblink 6 June 2015, It has also created a female morality police, a shadowy group called the al-Khansa' Brigades, who insure proper deportment in ISIS-held towns. ... Al-Khansa' was a female poet of the pre-Islamic era who converted to Islam and became a companion of the Prophet, and her elegies for her male relations are keystones of the genre [of Islamic poetry]. The name therefore suggests an institution with deep roots in the past, and yet there has never been anything like the Brigades in Islamic history, nor do they have an equivalent anywhere else in the Arab world., In a similar vein, the Syrian Islamic scholar Muhammad al-Yaqoubi says, "[t]he followers of ISIS do not want to adhere to Islamic law but rather they want to twist Islamic law to conform to their fantasies. To this end, they pick and choose the evidences that corroborate their misguidance, despite being weak or abrogated."BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, 37, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, Two days after the beheading of Hervé Gourdel, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the Grand Mosque of Paris to show solidarity against the beheading. The protest was led by the leader of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Dalil Boubakeur, and was joined by thousands of other Muslims around the country under the slogan "Not in my name".NEWS, Halleck, Thomas, Thousands of French Muslims Protest Herve Gourdel Beheading,weblink 28 September 2014, International Business Times, 26 September 2014, NEWS,weblink 'Not in my name': French Muslims rally to denounce ISIS beheadings, RT, 26 September 2014, 13 October 2014, French president François Hollande said Gourdel's beheading was "cowardly" and "cruel", and confirmed that airstrikes would continue against ISIL in Iraq. Hollande also called for three days of national mourning, with flags flown at half-mast throughout the country and said that security would be increased throughout Paris.An Islamic Front sharia court judge in Aleppo, Mohamed Najeeb Bannan, stated: "The legal reference is the Islamic Sharia. The cases are different, from robberies to drug use, to moral crimes. It's our duty to look at any crime that comes to us... After the regime has fallen, we believe that the Muslim majority in Syria will ask for an Islamic state. Of course, it's very important to point out that some say the Islamic Sharia will cut off people's hands and heads, but it only applies to criminals. And to start off by killing, crucifying etc. That is not correct at all." In response to being asked what the difference between the Islamic Front's and ISIL's version of sharia would be, he said, "One of their mistakes is before the regime has fallen, and before they've established what in Sharia is called Tamkeen [having a stable state], they started applying Sharia, thinking God gave them permission to control the land and establish a Caliphate. This goes against the beliefs of religious scholars around the world. This is what [IS] did wrong. This is going to cause a lot of trouble. Anyone who opposes [IS] will be considered against Sharia and will be severely punished."AV MEDIA,weblink Ghosts of Aleppo (Full Length), 30 September 2014, VICE News, YouTube, WEB,weblink Ghosts of Aleppo (Full Length), VICE News, Al-Qaeda and al-Nusra have been trying to take advantage of ISIL's rise, by attempting to present themselves as "moderate" compared to "extremist" ISIL, although it has the same aim of establishing sharia and a caliphate but doing so in a more gradual manner.NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, Al Qaeda appears 'moderate' compared to Islamic State, veteran jihadist says,weblink Long War Journal, 25 October 2015, NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, 26 October 2015, A rare interview with an experienced Al Qaeda commander shows how the group is using ISIS to make itself look 'moderate',weblink Business Insider, 20 November 2015, NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, The Al Nusrah Front's 'inherited jihad',weblink Long War Journal, 5 June 2015, NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, Officials from Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham vow to continue fight against Islamic State,weblink Long War Journal, 20 July 2015, NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, 9 February 2015, Al Qaeda Uses ISIS to Try to Present Itself as Respectable, Even Moderate,weblink The Weekly Standard, Al-Nusra has criticised the way in which ISIL fully and immediately institutes sharia in the areas that fall under its control, since it alienates people too much. It supports the gradual, slower approach favoured by al-Qaeda, preparing society to accept sharia and indoctrinating people through education before implementing the hudud aspects in sharia, which they believe supports punishments such as throwing homosexuals from the top of buildings, chopping limbs off, and public stoning. Al-Nusra and ISIL are both hostile towards the Druze. However, while al-Nusra has typically destroyed Druze shrines and pressured them to convert to Sunni Islam, ISIL regards the entire Druze community as a valid target for violence, as it does the Yazidis.WEB, Waleed, Rikab,weblink The Plight of Syria's Druze Minority and U.S. Options, Syria Comment, 9 September 2015, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, has called for consultation (shura) within the "prophetic method" to be used when establishing the caliphate, criticising al-Baghdadi for not following the required steps. Al-Zawahiri has called upon ISIL members to close ranks and join al-Qaeda in fighting against Assad, the Shia, Russia, Europe, and America and to stop the infighting between jihadist groups. He called upon jihadists to establish Islamic entities in Egypt and the Levant, slowly implementing sharia before establishing a caliphate, and has called for violent assaults against America and the West.NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, Al Qaeda chief calls for jihadist unity to 'liberate Jerusalem',weblink Long War Journal, 2 November 2015, The Jaysh al-Islam group within the Islamic Front criticised ISIL, saying: "They killed the people of Islam and leave the idol worshippers ... They use the verses talking about the disbelievers and implement it on the Muslims".{{YouTube | id=6akQmuYyAT0 |title=Uncover the Mask with Evidence and Confidence كشف القناع بالحجة ولإقناع داعش}} The main criticism of defectors from ISIL has been that the group is fighting and killing other Sunni Muslims,NEWS, Number of ISIS defectors growing, disillusioned with killing fellow Muslims: Study,weblink The Straits Times, Agence France-Presse, 21 September 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 25 September 2015, London, as opposed to just non-Sunnis being brutalised.NEWS, Neumann, Peter R.,weblink Defectors: ISIS is killing Muslims, not protecting them, CNN, 22 September 2015, 13 October 2015, WEB, Robins-Early, Nick,weblink New Report Reveals Why Fighters Are Quitting ISIS, HuffPost, 21 September 2015, 13 October 2015, In one case, a supposed defector from ISIL executed two activists of a Syrian opposition group in Turkey who had sheltered them.WEB, A 'disgraceful reality': Islamic State spies posing as defectors, 5 November 2015, Syria Direct,weblink The current Grand Imam of al-Azhar and former president of al-Azhar University, Ahmed el-Tayeb, has strongly condemned the Islamic State, stating that it is acting "under the guise of this holy religion and have given themselves the name 'Islamic State' in an attempt to export their false Islam".NEWS, Head of Egypt's al-Azhar condemns ISIS 'barbarity', Al Arabiya English, Agence France-Presse, 3 December 2014,weblink NEWS,weblink Asharq, Al-Awsat, Egypt's Al-Azhar stops short of declaring ISIS apostates – Azhar statement rejects practice of takfirism, Asharq Al Awsat, 13 December 2014, Citing the Quran, he stated: "The punishment for those who wage war against God and his Prophet and who strive to sow corruption on earth is death, crucifixion, the severing of hands and feet on opposite sides or banishment from the land. This is the disgrace for them in this world and in the hereafter they will receive grievous torment." Although el-Tayeb has been criticised for not expressly stating that the Islamic State is heretical,NEWS,weblink Al Ahram Weekly, In search of 'renewal' – Al-Azhar is at the centre of an escalating controversy, Amany, Maged, 15 January 2015, NEWS,weblink Al-Monitor, Al-Azhar refuses to consider the Islamic State an apostate, Ahmed, Fouad, The sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, repeated his rejection of declaring IS apostates on 1 Jan, during a meeting with editors-in-chief of Egyptian newspapers. This sparked criticism from a number of religious, political and media parties, especially since Al-Azhar could have renounced the Nigerian mufti's statement on IS without addressing the issue of whether or not Al-Azhar considers the group apostates, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 October 2015, the Ash'ari school of Islamic theology, to which el-Tayeb belongs, does not allow calling a person who follows the shahada an apostate. El-Tayeb has strongly come out against the practice of takfirism (declaring a Muslim an apostate) which is used by the Islamic State to "judge and accuse anyone who doesn't tow their line with apostasy and outside the realm of the faith" declaring "Jihad on peaceful Muslims" using "flawed interpretations of some Qur'anic texts, the prophet's Sunna, and the Imams' views believing incorrectly, that they are leaders of Muslim armies fighting infidel peoples, in unbelieving lands".WEB,weblink Muslim World League, Sheikh Al-Azhar Speech in opening of conference, 22 February 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 October 2015, In late December 2015, nearly 70,000 Indian Muslim clerics associated with the Indian Barelvi movement issued a fatwa condemning ISIL and similar organisations, saying they are "not Islamic organisations". Approximately 1.5 million Sunni Muslim followers of this movement have formally decried violent extremists.NEWS, 70,000 clerics issue fatwa against terrorism, 15 lakh Muslims support it, Priyangi, Agarwall, The Times of India, TNN,weblink 9 December 2015, NEWS, 70,000 Indian clerics issue fatwa against terrorists, Molly, Jckson, The Christian Science Monitor,weblink 10 December 2015, NEWS, 70,000 Muslim clerics just issued a fatwa against terrorism,weblink 10 December 2015, Independent, Caroline, Mortimer, Mehdi Hasan, a political journalist in the UK, said in the New Statesman,Hassan Hassan, an analyst at the Delma Institute, wrote in The Guardian that because the Islamic State "bases its teachings on religious texts that mainstream Muslim clerics do not want to deal with head on, new recruits leave the camp feeling that they have stumbled on the true message of Islam". Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian Islamic theologian based in Qatar, said in his official website that the "United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the leaders of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group are from one species and they are two sides of the same coin".NEWS, Staff writers, Al-Qaradawi: Rulers Of UAE And Daesh Leaders Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin {{!, English – Middle East Press News Agency|url=|access-date=4 August 2016|publisher=Middle East News Agency|date=2 August 2016}}

Other commentaries

Scholar Ian Almond criticised the media commentators, the lack of balance in reporting, and the "way we are learning to talk about ISIS." While there was talk about 'radical evil' and 'radical Islam', Almond found it striking because "some of the most revered and oft-quoted figures in our Western political tradition have been capable of the most vicious acts of savagery – and yet all we ever hear about is how much the Middle East has to learn from us." Almond goes on to cite how Winston Churchill "wanted to gas women and children", how Ronald Reagan's Central American policies "disembowlled more children than ISIS," how President Barack Obama's "planes and drones have dropped bombs on as many schoolchildren as ISIS," how former secretary of state Madeleine Albright commented on the deaths of Iraqi children killed by sanctions, how Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher "assisted in the torture and disappearance of thousands of Chilean students and labour activitists... For anyone familiar with the history of both U.S. and European torture and murder over the past 150 years, it might not be all that hyperbolic to say that in ISIS, what we see more than anything else is a more expansive, explicit version of our own cruelties. In bombing ISIS and its would-be imperialism, we are really bombing a version of ourselves."WEB,weblink Almond, Ian, Are we ISIS?, 7 January 2015, Political Theology, 21 April 2019, Author and commentator Tom Engelhardt attributed the rise of ISIL and the destruction that followed to what he dubbed as America's drive to establish its own caliphate in the region.WEB,weblink Engelhardt, Tom, How America made ISIS, 3 September 2014, Le Monde Diplomatique, 21 April 2019, A leader article in the New Scientist magazine contextualised ISIL within the nation state construct. Although the group is described as medieval in the pejorative sense, "it is also hyper-modern, interested in few of the trappings of a conventional state apart from its own brutal brand of law enforcement. In fact, it is more of a network than a nation, having made canny use of social media to exert influence far beyond its geographical base."WEB,weblink In our world beyond nations, the future is medieval, 3 September 2014, New Scientist, 25 April 2019,

Designation as a terrorist organisation

{{See also|List of designated terrorist organisations|Terrorism}}{|class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto;"! Organisation !! Date !! Body !! References Multinational organisationsUnited Nations}}18 October 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)30 May 2013 (after separation from Al-Qaeda)>United Nations Security CouncilHTTPS://WWW.UN.ORG/SC/COMMITTEES/1267/AQLIST.HTM#ALQAEDAENT >TITLE=AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS LIST ACCESS-DATE=2 OCTOBER 2014 ARCHIVEDATE=25 SEPTEMBER 2014, HTTPS://WWW.UN.ORG/SC/COMMITTEES/1267/RESOLUTIONS.SHTML >ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150405001543/HTTP://WWW.UN.ORG/SC/COMMITTEES/1267/RESOLUTIONS.SHTML TITLE=THE AL-QAIDA AND TALIBAN SANCTIONS COMMITTEE – 1267 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS, HTTPS://WWW.UN.ORG/PRESS/EN/2013/SC11019.DOC.HTM >TITLE=SECURITY COUNCIL AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS COMMITTEE AMENDS ENTRY, 8 June 2015, European Union}}2004Council of the European Union (via adoption of UN al-Qaeda Sanctions List)>TITLE=EU TERRORIST LISTING – AN OVERVIEW ABOUT LISTING AND DELISTING PROCEDURES ACCESS-DATE=3 NOVEMBER 2014 YEAR=2010, Nations{{anchor|nations}}United Kingdom}}March 2001 (as part of al-Qaeda)20 June 2014 (after separation from al‑Qaeda) Home OfficePROSCRIBED TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS, PP.13–15 >URL=HTTP://WWW.GOV.UK/GOVERNMENT/UPLOADS/SYSTEM/UPLOADS/ATTACHMENT_DATA/FILE/324603/20140627-LIST_OF_PROSCRIBED_ORGANISATIONS_WEBSITE_FINAL.PDF PUBLISHER=HOME OFFICE URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=15 AUGUST 2014, United States}}17 December 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)United States Department of State>PUBLISHER=BUREAU OF COUNTERTERRORISM. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 28 July 2014, Australia}}2 March 2005 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)14 December 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda) Attorney-General for AustraliaHTTP://WWW.NATIONALSECURITY.GOV.AU/LISTEDTERRORISTORGANISATIONS/PAGES/DEFAULT.ASPX >TITLE=LISTED TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS ACCESS-DATE=31 JULY 2014, Canada}}20 August 2012Parliament of Canada HTTP://WWW.PUBLICSAFETY.GC.CA/CNT/NTNL-SCRT/CNTR-TRRRSM/LSTD-NTTS/CRRNT-LSTD-NTTS-ENG.ASPX >TITLE=CURRENTLY LISTED ENTITIES ACCESS-DATE=31 JULY 2014, Turkey}}30 October 2013Grand National Assembly of TurkeyKAPLAN >FIRST1=HILAL URL=HTTP://WWW.DAILYSABAH.COM/COLUMNS/HILAL_KAPLAN/2014/09/03/CHARGING-TURKEY-FOR-ISIS WORK=DAILY SABAH DATE=3 SEPTEMBER 2014, MAHCUPYAN >FIRST1=ETYEN URL=HTTP://WWW.DAILYSABAH.COM/COLUMNS/ETYEN-MAHCUPYAN/2014/09/20/ISIS-TURKEY-AND-THE-US WORK=DAILY SABAH DATE=20 SEPTEMBER 2014, Saudi Arabia}}7 March 2014Royal decree of the King of Saudi ArabiaHTTPS://WWW.REUTERS.COM/ARTICLE/2014/03/07/US-SAUDI-SECURITY-IDUSBREA260SM20140307 >TITLE=SAUDI ARABIA DESIGNATES MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD TERRORIST GROUP DATE=7 MARCH 2014, 31 July 2014, Indonesia}}1 August 2014National Counter-terrorism Agency BNPTBNPT DECLARES ISIS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION >URL=HTTP://EN.TEMPO.CO/READ/NEWS/2014/08/02/055596766/BNPT-DECLARES-ISIS-A-TERRORIST-ORGANIZATION WORK=TEMPO, 2 August 2014, United Arab Emirates}}20 August 2014United Arab Emirates CabinetHTTP://GULFNEWS.COM/NEWS/GULF/UAE/GOVERNMENT/LIST-OF-TERROR-GROUPS-PUBLISHED-BY-UAE-1.1413219 >TITLE=LIST OF TERROR GROUPS PUBLISHED BY UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ARCHIVEDATE=28 JANUARY 2015, Malaysia}}24 September 2014Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malaysia)>ARCHIVEDATE=25 SEPTEMBER 2014 WORK=THE STRAITS TIMES DATE=25 SEPTEMBER 2014, 25 September 2014, Switzerland}}8 October 2014Federal Council (Switzerland)>PUBLISHER=FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE, CIVIL PROTECTION AND SPORTS, 28 February 2019, Egypt}}30 November 2014The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters HTTP://WWW.DAILYNEWSEGYPT.COM/2014/11/30/COURT-AFFIRMS-ISIS-TERRORIST-GROUP-DESIGNATION/ >TITLE=COURT AFFIRMS ISIS' 'TERRORIST GROUP' DESIGNATION URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=8 DECEMBER 2014, EGYPT BRANDS JIHADIST ISIL A 'TERRORIST GROUP' >URL=HTTP://WWW.HURRIYETDAILYNEWS.COM/EGYPT-BRANDS-JIHADIST-ISIL-A-TERRORIST-GROUP.ASPX?PAGEID=238&NID=75033&NEWSCATID=352 LOCATION=ISTANBUL, TURKEY, 30 November 2014, India}}16 December 2014Ministry of Home Affairs (India)>ACCESS-DATE=16 DECEMBER 2014 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150101163635/HTTP://WWW.MHA.NIC.IN/BO AGENCY=PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ACCESS-DATE=16 DECEMBER 2014 DATE=16 DECEMBER 2014, Russian Federation}}29 December 2014Supreme Court of RussiaHTTP://TASS.RU/EN/WORLD/769912 >TITLE=RUSSIA CALLS ON ALL STATES TO PUT ISLAMIC STATE, JABHAT AL-NUSRA ON TERRORIST LISTS DATE=29 DECEMBER 2015, 29 December 2014, Kyrgyzstan}}25 March 2015Kyrgyz State Committee of National SecurityPARASZCZUK >FIRST1=JOANNA URL=HTTP://WWW.RFERL.ORG/CONTENT/KYRGYZSTAN-BANS-ISLAMIC-STATE/26920328.HTML ACCESS-DATE=26 MARCH 2015, Syria}}HTTP://WWW.SANA.SY/EN/?P=2988 >TITLE=SYRIA CONDEMNS TERRORIST ACTS IN IRAQ, EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH IRAQI GOVERNMENT, ARMY AND PEOPLE AGENCY=SYRIAN ARAB NEWS AGENCY, Jordan}}HTTP://WWW.NEWS.COM.AU/WORLD/MIDDLE-EAST/JORDAN-CONTINUES-THEIR-REVENGE-ON-ISIS-CARRYING-OUT-AIRSTRIKES-AGAINST-THE-TERROR-GROUP/STORY-FNH81IFQ-1227209129504 >TITLE=JORDAN LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES AGAINST ISIS ACCESS-DATE=7 AUGUST 2015, 6 February 2015, Iran}}HTTP://WWW.IRAN-DAILY.COM/NEWS/115766.HTML >TITLE=REPORT SAYS ISIL TERRORIST GROUP HAS A BASE NEAR US WORK=IRAN NEWSPAPER >DATE=16 APRIL 2015, HTTP://ENGLISH.FARSNEWS.COM/NEWSTEXT.ASPX?NN=13931221000783 >TITLE=LARIJANI REMINDS REGIONAL STATES OF IRAN'S SACRIFICES AGAINST ISIL TERRORISTS AGENCY=FARS NEWS AGENCY ACCESS-DATE=21 APRIL 2015 TASNIM NEWS AGENCY >DATE=8 SEPTEMBER 2014, HTTP://EN.ALALAM.IR/NEWS/1654400 >TITLE=IRANIAN OFFICIAL: US NOT SERIOUS ABOUT COUNTERING ISIL TERRORISTS WORK=AL-ALAM, 26 September 2014, Iraq}}||WEBSITE=AL SUMARIAACCESS-DATE=21 APRIL 2015 PRESS TV >DATE=15 MARCH 2015, Trinidad and Tobago}}||WEBSITE=T&T GUARDIAN, 5 August 2017, Pakistan}}29 August 2015Pakistan Ministry of Interior>FIRST=ZAHID WORK=THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, Pakistan, Japan}}Public Security Intelligence AgencyHTTP://WWW.MOJ.GO.JP/PSIA/ITH/ORGANIZATIONS/INDEX.HTML>TITLE=国際テロ組織 世界のテロ組織等の概要・動向 – 国際テロリズム要覧(WEB版) – 公安調査庁,, Republic of China (Taiwan)}}26 November 2015National Security Bureau (Taiwan)>WEBSITE=蘋果日報, People's Republic of China}}Ministry of Public Security (China)>PUBLISHER=MFA.GOV.CN LANGUAGE=CHINESE, Venezuela}}4 September 2019National Assembly (Venezuela)>NUMBER=1169247448147091457 TITLE=DESDE LA @ASAMBLEAVE HEMOS DECLARADO A LA DISIDENCIA DE LAS FARC, ELN, HAMAS, HEZBOLLAH E ISIS COMO GRUPOS TERRORISTAS, ORDENáNDOLES A TODOS LOS CUERPOS DE SEGURIDAD DEL ESTADO PROTEGER NUESTRA SOBERANíA E INTEGRIDAD TERRITORIAL FRENTE A LA AMENAZA QUE REPRESENTAN ESTOS GRUPOS., The United Nations Security Council in its Resolution 1267 (1999) described Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda associates as operators of a network of terrorist training camps.WEB, Resolution 1267 (1999) Adopted by the Security Council at its 4051st meeting on 15 October 1999,weblink UNHCR, The UN's Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee first listed ISIL in its Sanctions List under the name "Al-Qaida in Iraq" on 18 October 2004, as an entity/group associated with al-Qaeda. On 2 June 2014, the group was added to its listing under the name "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant". The European Union adopted the UN Sanctions List in 2002.File:Memorial to November 2015 Paris attacks at French embassy in Moscow 13.jpg|thumb|People lay flowers outside the French embassy in Moscow in memory of the victims of the November 2015 Paris attacksNovember 2015 Paris attacksMany world leaders and government spokespeople have called ISIL a terrorist group or banned it, without their countries having formally designated it as such. The following are examples:The Government of Germany banned ISIL in September 2014. Activities banned include donations to the group, recruiting fighters, holding ISIL meetings and distributing its propaganda, flying ISIL flags,NEWS, Eddy, Melissa, Germany Bans Support for ISIS,weblink 19 November 2014, The New York Times, 12 September 2014, wearing ISIL symbols and all ISIL activities. "The terror organisation Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well", said German politician Thomas de Maizière. He added, "Today's ban is directed solely against terrorists who abuse religion for their criminal goals."NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 3 January 2015, ISIL banned in Germany, Janette, Roberts, Sixth Sense, 17 September 2014, Being a member of ISIL is also illegal in accordance with § 129a and § 129b of the German criminal code.WEB,weblink Drucksache 18/759, Deutscher Bundestag, de, In October 2014, Switzerland banned ISIL's activities in the country, including propaganda and financial support of the fighters, with prison sentences as potential penalties.NEWS,weblink Switzerland bans ISIL, Anadolu Agency, 8 October 2014, In mid-December 2014, India banned ISIL after the arrest of an operator of a pro-ISIL Twitter account.NEWS, Avaneesh, Pandey,weblink India Bans ISIS After Government Raises Concerns Over Group's Online Presence, 16 December 2014, International Business Times, Pakistan designated ISIL as a banned organisation in late August 2015, under which all elements expressing sympathy for the group would be blacklisted and sanctioned.Media sources worldwide have described ISIL as a terrorist organisation.NEWS, Lister, Tim,weblink ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state?, CNN, 13 June 2014, 14 June 2014,

Militia, territorial authority and other classifications

By 2014, ISIL was increasingly being viewed as a militia in addition to a terrorist group and a cult. As major Iraqi cities fell to ISIL in June 2014, Jessica Lewis, a former US Army intelligence officer at the Institute for the Study of War, described ISIL at that time as}}File:London protest 2015 Ankara bombings (2).jpg|thumb|Supporters of the Turkish Labour Party protesting in London following the 2015 Ankara bombings2015 Ankara bombingsLewis has called ISILFormer US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saw an "imminent threat to every interest we have", but former top counter-terrorism adviser Daniel Benjamin derided such talk as a "farce" that panics the public.NEWS, Mazzetti, Mark, Eric, Schmitt, Mark, Landler, 10 September 2014, Struggling to Gauge ISIS Threat, Even as U.S. Prepares to Act,weblink The New York Times, 11 September 2014, Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband concluded that the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused the creation of ISIL.NEWS, Porter, Tom, 10 August 2015, Iraq War Created Isis, Concedes David Miliband,weblink International Business Times, 12 March 2015, Writing for The Guardian, Pankaj Mishra rejects the idea that the group is a resurgence of medieval Islam, saying instead:}}A certain change of attitude occurred following the inauguration of US President Trump. On 28 January 2017, he issued a National Security Presidential Memorandum which called for a comprehensive plan to destroy ISIL to be formulated by the Defense Department within 30 days.WEB,weblink National Security Presidential Memorandum no. 3,


According to a June 2015 Reuters report that cited "jihadist ideologues" as a source, 90% of ISIL's fighters in Iraq were Iraqi, and 70% of its fighters in Syria were Syrian. The article stated that the group had 40,000 fighters and 60,000 supporters across its two primary strongholds in Iraq and Syria.NEWS, Saddam's former army is secret of Baghdadi's success,weblink Reuters, 16 June 2015, 1 July 2015, According to scholar Fawaz Gerges writing in ISIS: A History, some "30 percent of the senior figures" in ISIL's military command were former army and police officers from the disbanded Iraqi security forces, turned towards Sunni Islamism and drawn to ISIL by the US De-Ba'athification policy following the US invasion of Iraq.According to a poll by Pew Research Center, Muslim populations of various countries have overwhelmingly negative views of ISIL with Lebanon having the most unfavorable views.WEB,weblink Views of ISIS Overwhelmingly Negative, 17 November 2015, Pew Research Center, WEB, Jacob Poushter191 comments,weblink Most dislike ISIS in Muslim countries | Pew Research Center, 21 May 2016, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink 5 May 2016, In most of these countries, concerns about Islamic extremism have been growing.WEB,weblink Concerns about Islamic Extremism on the Rise in Middle East | Pew Research Center,, 21 May 2016,

Countries and groups at war with ISIL

File:CountriesAgainstIS.svg|upright=2.75|thumb|center|A map of all state-based opponents of ISIL{{Color box|#00AAD4|border=darkgray}} US #AAD400|border=darkgray}} Russia and other state based opponents{{Color box|red|border=darkgray}} Territories held by ISIL at its late 2015 peakISIL's claims to territory have brought it into armed conflict with many governments, militias and other armed groups. International rejection of ISIL as a terrorist entity and rejection of its claim to even exist have placed it in conflict with countries around the world.

Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

{{See also|Military intervention against ISIL#International coalitions against ISIL|Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve}}(File:Strikes in Syria and Iraq 2014-09-23.jpg|thumb|Airstrikes in Syria by 24 September 2014)The Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also referred to as the Counter-ISIL Coalition or Counter-DAESH Coalition,NEWS,weblink Coalition commanders seek plan to counter Daesh advance, 14 October 2014, Agence France-Presse, Gulf News, is a US-led group of nations and non-state actors that have committed to "work together under a common, multifaceted, and long-term strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL/Daesh". According to a joint statement issued by 59 national governments and the European Union on 3 December 2014, participants in the Counter-ISIL Coalition are focused on multiple lines of effort:PRESS RELEASE, Joint Statement Issued by Partners at the Counter-ISIL Coalition Ministerial Meeting,weblink 3 December 2014, US State Department, 14 December 2014,
  1. Supporting military operations, capacity building, and training;
  2. Stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters;
  3. Cutting off ISIL/Daesh's access to financing and funding;
  4. Addressing associated humanitarian relief and crises; and
  5. Exposing ISIL/Daesh's true nature (ideological delegitimisation).
Operation Inherent Resolve is the operational name given by the US to military operations against ISIL and Syrian al-Qaeda affiliates.Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) is co-ordinating the military portion of the response. The Arab League, European Union, NATO, and GCC are part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition: According to the Pentagon, by December 2017 over 80,000 ISIL fighters had been killed in Iraq and Syria by CJTF-OIR airstrikes.WEB,weblink Once promised paradise, ISIS fighters end up in mass graves, The Straits Times, 15 October 2017, 11 December 2017, By then the coalition had flown over 170,000 sorties,WEB,weblink Special Report: Operation Inherent Resolve, U.S. Department of Defense, 3 November 2017, 75-80% of combat sorties were conducted by the military of the United States, with the other 20-25% by Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.REPORT,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Special Reports: Operation Inherent Resolve, U.S. Department of Defense, 31 March 2017, According to the UK-based monitoring group Airwars, the air strikes and artillery of US-led coalition killed as many as 6,000 civilians in Iraq and Syria by the end of 2017.NEWS,weblink Missy, Ryan, Civilian deaths tripled in U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in 2017, watchdog alleges, The Washington Post, 18 January 2018, NEWS,weblink Missy, Ryan, US-led coalition killed up to 6000 civilians in fight against IS: watchdog says, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 January 2018, Lebanon, which the U.S. considers part of the Global Coalition, fought off several incursions by ISIL, with the largest engagements taking place from June 2014 to August 2017, when several thousand ISIL fighters invaded from Syria and occupied Lebanese territory. The U.S. and U.K.-backed Lebanese Army succeeded in repulsing this invasion, killing or capturing over 1,200 ISIL fighters in the process.NEWS, Bassem, Mroue, Andrea, Rosa, Lebanese army slowly crushing extremists near Syria border, 22 June 2016, Associate Press,weblink NEWS, Lebanese army slowly crushing extremists near Syria border, 22 June 2016, The Washington Post, Associated Press,weblink 24 June 2016,weblink Saab, Bilal. "The United States Has Not Lost Lebanon." {{Webarchive|url= |date=1 April 2019 }} Foreign Policy. May, 2018.

Other state opponents not part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition

{{see also|Russia–Syria–Iran–Iraq coalition|Axis of Resistance#Axis of resistance vs. ISIL}}IranNEWS, Babak, Dehghanpisheh,weblink Iran's elite Guards fighting in Iraq to push back Islamic State, Reuters, 3 August 2014, – military advisors, training, ground troops, and air power in Iraq and Syria, beside Iranian borders (see Iranian intervention in Iraq)File:Russian Sukhoi Su-34 at Latakia (1).jpg|thumb|Russian Sukhoi Su-34Sukhoi Su-34RussiaNEWS, Alexander, Smith,weblink Russia Tells Iraq It's 'Ready' to Support Fight Against ISIS, NBC News, 26 September 2014, 27 September 2014, NEWS, Nordland, Rod,weblink Russian Jets and Experts Sent to Iraq to Aid Army, 29 June 2014, The New York Times, 28 September 2014, – arms supplier to Iraqi and Syrian governments. In June 2014, the Iraqi army received Russian Sukhoi Su-25 and Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft to combat the ISIL.NEWS,weblink Target ISIS: First batch of Russian fighter jets arrives in Iraq, RT, 30 June 2014, 8 June 2015, Security operations within state borders in 2015.NEWS,weblink Russia 'kills 8 ISIS militants' in Caucasus raid, The Daily Star, Agence France-Presse, Beirut, Lebanon, NEWS,weblink L. Todd, Wood, Russia declares counter-terror ops regime in North Caucasus, The Washington Times, 30 June 2015, Airstrikes in Syria (see Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War).NEWS, Christopher, Harress,weblink International Business Times, Russian Islamic State Airstrikes In Iraq: ISIS OK For Russia To Target, Baghdad Says, 24 October 2015, 1 November 2015, NEWS,weblink RT, 8 ISIS targets hit during 20 combat flights in Syria – Russian military, 30 September 2015, 1 October 2015, NEWS, Ed, Payne, Barbara, Starr, Susannah, Cullinane,weblink CNN, Russia launches first airstrikes in Syria, 30 September 2015, 30 September 2015, AzerbaijanNEWS, Giorgi, Lomsadze,weblink, Azerbaijan Arrests Alleged ISIS and Other Islamic Fighters, 24 September 2014, 18 February 2015, NEWS,weblink Panorama, Azerbaijani media: Embassy increases security in Baku because of ISIS threatening, 26 January 2015, 18 January 2015, – security operations within state bordersPakistan – Military deployment over Saudi Arabia-Iraq border. Arresting ISIL figures in Pakistan.NEWS, C. Raja, Mohan, Nawaz Sharif in Saudi Arabia: Pakistan's Leverage in the Gulf,weblink 7 March 2015, The Indian Express, 5 March 2015, NEWS, Now Pakistan cares about ISIS,weblink 7 March 2015, New York Post, 31 October 2014, Jamie, Schram, NEWS, Security forces arrest local Islamic State commander in Lahore: sources,weblink 7 March 2015, The Express Tribune, Lahore, Pakistan, Reuters, 21 January 2015, Yemen (Supreme Political Council)WEB,weblink الجيش واللجان الشعبية يستعيدون السيطرة على جبل نوفان الاستراتيجي,,

Other non-state opponents

{{Category see also|Category:Anti-ISIL factions}}
  • {{flag|al-Qaeda}}
  • (File:Flag of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.svg|25px) al-Nusra FrontNEWS, ISIL, Nusra Clash Fiercely on Qalmoun Barrens: 25 Killed, Injured,weblink Al-Manar News, 17 December 2014, —with localised truces and co-operation at times
  • al-Qaeda in the Arabian PeninsulaNEWS, Brian, Todd, ISIS gaining ground in Yemen, competing with al Qaeda,weblink CNN, 22 January 2015,
  • al-Qaeda in the Islamic MaghrebNEWS, Thomas, Joscelyn, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb backs jihadists fighting Islamic State in Derna, Libya,weblink 9 July 2015, Long War Journal,
  • Al-ShabaabNEWS, Suspected Leader of Pro-IS Al-Shabab Faction Reported Killed,weblink 22 November 2015, Voice of America News,
  • (File:Flag of Taliban.svg|25px) TalibanWEB, ISIS reportedly moves into Afghanistan, is even fighting Taliban,weblink 12 January 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 February 2015, NEWS, ISIL and the Taliban, 1 November 2015, Al Jazeera,weblink
  • (File:Flag of Hamas.svg|22 px) HamasNEWS, ISIL warns Hamas in video message, Al Jazeera,weblink 1 July 2015,
  • {{flag|Hezbollah}}WEB, Mortada, Radwan, Hezbollah fighters and the "jihadis": Mad, drugged, homicidal, and hungry,weblink Al Akhbar, 19 May 2014, 8 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 7 July 2014, dead,
  • {{flag|Houthis}}NEWS,weblink Islamic State leader urges attacks in Saudi Arabia: speech, Reuters, 13 November 2014,
  • (File:Flag of Kurdistan Workers' Party.svg|22 px) Kurdistan Workers' Party—ground troops in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Syrian KurdistanWEB, Mohammed, A. Salih,weblink PKK forces impress in fight against Islamic State, 1 September 2014, Al-Monitor, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 October 2014,
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of Syrian Democratic Forces.svg}} Syrian Democratic Forces
  • (File:Emblem of the Nineveh Plain Protection Units.svg|22px) Nineveh Plain Protection Units – an Assyrian Christian militia in the Nineveh Plains of Iraq and SyriaNEWS, Assyrians fight back in Iraq, Badanah village liberated from ISIS, Leith, Aboufadel, 3 September 2016, Al Masdar News,weblink


Al-Nusra Front is a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria. Al-Nusra has launched many attacks and bombings, mostly against targets affiliated with or supportive of the Syrian government.NEWS, Bill, Roggio,weblink Suicide bombers kill 14 in Damascus, Long War Journal, 11 June 2013, 3 June 2015, There have been media reports that many of al-Nusra's foreign fighters have left to join al-Baghdadi's ISIL.NEWS,weblink Syria: Jabhat al-Nusra split after leader's pledge of support for al-Qaeda, The Telegraph, 19 May 2013, London, Richard, Spencer, In February 2014, after continued tensions, al-Qaeda publicly disavowed any relations with ISIL.NEWS,weblink Al-Qaeda disavows any ties with radical Islamist ISIS group in Syria, Iraq, The Washington Post, Liz, Sly, 3 February 2014, 7 February 2014, However, ISIL and al-Nusra Front still cooperate with each other occasionally when they fight against the Syrian government.NEWS,weblink Jabhat Al-Nusra And ISIS Alliance Could Spread Beyond Damascus, Erin, Banco, International Business Times, 11 April 2015, NEWS, Eugenio, Lilli,weblink How would a deal between al-Qaeda and Isil change Syria's civil war?, The Telegraph, London, 14 November 2014, NEWS, Mitchell, Prothero,weblink ISIS joins other rebels to thwart Syria regime push near Lebanon, The Sacramento Bee, 4 March 2014, 4 July 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 6 October 2014, dead, }}On 10 September 2015, an audio message was released by al-Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri criticising ISIL's self-proclaimed caliphate and accusing it of "sedition". This was described by some media outlets as a "declaration of war".NEWS, James Gordon, Meek, Al Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Declares War on ISIS 'Caliph' Al-Baghdadi,weblink Yahoo! News, ABC News, 10 September 2015, However, although al-Zawahiri denied ISIL's legitimacy, he suggested that there was still room for cooperation against common enemies, and said that if he were in Iraq, he would fight alongside ISIL.NEWS, Omar, Fahmy, 9 September 2015, Al Qaeda calls Islamic State illegitimate but suggests cooperation,weblink Reuters, 11 September 2015,

Human rights abuse and war crime findings

{{anchor|war crimes}}In July 2014, the BBC reported the United Nations' chief investigator as stating: "Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) may be added to a list of war crimes suspects in Syria."NEWS,weblink UN 'may include' Isis on Syrian war crimes list, BBC News, 26 July 2014, By June 2014, according to United Nations reports, ISIL had killed hundreds of prisoners of war"Video shows Islamic State executes scores of Syrian soldiers". Reuters. 28 August 2014. and over 1,000 civilians.{{citation needed|date=June 2017}}In November 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that ISIL was committing crimes against humanity.NEWS,weblink ISIS accused of crimes against humanity, Al Arabiya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 14 November 2014, NEWS, Nina, Larson,weblink UN probe: ISIS committing 'crimes against humanity' in Syria, The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, 14 November 2014, A report by Human Rights Watch in November 2014 accused ISIL groups in control of Derna, Libya of war crimes and human rights abuses and of terrorising residents. Human Rights Watch documented three apparent summary executions and at least ten public floggings by the Islamic Youth Shura Council, which joined ISIL in November. It also documented the beheading of three Derna residents and dozens of seemingly politically motivated assassinations of judges, public officials, members of the security forces and others. Sarah Leah Watson, Director of HRW Middle East and North Africa, said: "Commanders should understand that they may face domestic or international prosecution for the grave rights abuses their forces are committing."WEB,weblink Libya: Extremists Terrorizing Derna Residents, Human Rights Watch, 27 November 2014, Speaking of ISIL's methods, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has stated that the group "seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey".

See also

{hide}Wikipedia books
|1=Islamic terrorism
|3=Islamic terrorist groups




  • BOOK, Abass, Ademola, 2014, Complete International Law: Text, Cases and Materials, 2nd, Oxford, Oxford University Press, harv,
  • BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations,
  • NEWS, Boffey, Daniel, 'Islamic State' is a slur on our faith, say leading Muslims,weblink The Guardian,
  • BOOK, {{harvid, Bowering, 2013, |title=The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought |editor=Gerhard Böwering |url={{Google books|q1I0pcrFFSUC|plainurl=y}} |publisher=Princeton University Press |date=2013 |isbn=978-0-691-13484-0}}
  • NEWS, Chulov, Martin, 11 December 2014, Isis: the inside story, The Guardian,weblink
  • JOURNAL, Fishman, Brian, 2008, Using the Mistakes of al Qaeda's Franchises to Undermine Its Strategies, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 618, 46–54, 40375774, harv, 10.1177/0002716208316650,
  • NEWS, Fraile Ordonez, Siobhan, The Non-Islamic Non-State,weblink St Andrews Foreign Affairs Review, 28 September 2015,
  • MAGAZINE, Simon, Steven, 2008, The Price of the Surge: How U.S. Strategy Is Hastening Iraq's Demise,weblink Foreign Affairs, 87, 3, 57–72, 74–76, 20032651, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Tausch, Arno, Estimates on the Global Threat of Islamic State Terrorism in the Face of the 2015 Paris and Copenhagen Attacks, Middle East Review of International Affairs, Rubin Center, Research in International Affairs, Idc Herzliya, Israel, 19, 1, Spring 2015, 2702356,weblink
  • NEWS, Graeme C.A. Wood, Wood, Graeme, March 2015, What ISIS Really Wants, The Atlantic,weblink

External links

{{Sister project links | wikt=ISIS | commons=Category:Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant | b = no | n = Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant | q = Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant | s=no | v=no | voy=no | species = no| d=no | mw= no}} {{Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant}}{{Military intervention against ISIL}}{{Islamism}}{{Armed Iraqi groups in the Iraq War and the Iraq Civil War}}{{Islamic terrorism in Europe}}{{Authority control}}

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