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Daesh / Daash
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

The US-backed fighters in Syria have declared military victory over ISIL on 23 Marach 2019, ending a four-year battle against the group that once held territory spanning a third of Syria and Iraq. After weeks of heavy fighting, the tent camp where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) fighters) had made their final stand in the village of Baghouz was bombed to shreds. The elimination of the last stronghold in Baghouz brings to a close a gruelling final battle that stretched across several weeks and saw thousands of people flee the territory and surrender in desperation, and hundreds killed. It was not known whether the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is still alive or where he might be hiding.

Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), having been defeated militarily in Iraq and most of the Syrian Arab Republic during 2017, rallied in early 2018. This was the result of a loss of momentum by forces fighting it in the east of the Syrian Arab Republic, which prolonged access by ISIL to resources and gave it breathing space to prepare for the next phase of its evolution into a global covert network. By June 2018, the military campaigns against ISIL had gathered pace again, but ISIL still controlled small pockets of territory in the Syrian Arab Republic on the Iraqi border. It was able to extract and sell some oil, and to mount attacks, including across the border into Iraq.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations reported 01 February 2019 that " while ISIL has transformed into a covert network, including in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, it remains a threat as a global organization with centralized leadership. This threat is increased by returning, relocating or released foreign terrorist fighters.... Globally, far fewer attacks associated with ISIL took place in 2018 than in 2017. Successful internationally directed attacks have fallen dramatically from 20152016, when ISIL external operational activity was at its height.... The fall in international attacks and plots has also been caused by attrition of key ISIL personnel. Damage to the ISIL brand may be another way in which its progressive military defeat has reduced its capacity to project an international threat. Nevertheless, ISIL remains by far the most ambitious international terrorist group, and the one most likely to conduct a large-scale, complex attack in the near future. "ISIL is reported by some Member States to still have access to financial reserves of between $50 million and $300 million.... ISIL is assessed to have bulk-stored cash in its core area and smuggled some into neighbouring countries for safekeeping. It is also reported to have invested some of its reserves in legitimate businesses. ISIL no longer has reliable access to oilproducing areas in the eastern Syrian Arab Republic for direct extraction; it earns more revenue by extorting oil cargos extracted by others. "ISIL is reported still to control between 14,000 and 18,000 militants in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, including up to 3,000 foreign terrorist fighters. There are believed to be about 1,000 foreign terrorist fighters of various, sometimes undetermined, nationalities under arrest in Iraq. A growing number, currently nearly 1,000, plus more than 500 dependants, are detained in the northeast of the Syrian Arab Republic." On 10 September 2018 the Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the US-led coalition launched the final phase of the attack on ISIS, targeting Hajin town and its suburbs, where Baghdadi is believed to exist, many have speculated that he might have already escaped. Prominent Kurdish figure Rezdst Kubani who was present at a military position in the area said that: It is the last stronghold for ISIS fighters. All its foreign leaders and warlords from outside Syria are gathered in the towns of al-Soussa, Hajin and al-Shaafa and we will kill them there.

Syrian fighters backed by the United States have driven ISIS from the town of Hajin in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitoring group said 14 December 2018. Hajin was the last big town held by ISIS in its remaining pocket of territory east of the Euphrates River near the border with Iraq. SDF commander-in-chief Mazloum Kobani said that at least 5,000 Islamic State fighters remained holed up in the pocket of territory including Hajin and that they had decided to fight to the death.

Syrias army declared victory over Islamic State on 09 November 2017, saying its capture of the jihadists last town in the country marked the collapse of their project in the region. Syrian government forces said they had recaptured the border town of Albu Kamal, the last major Islamic State stronghold in eastern Syria. Iraqi government forces recaptured the town of al Qaim, their side of the border crossing with Syria, several days earlier. The army and its allies, including Lebanon's pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia, were involved in the effort to drive IS out of Albu Kamal.

Hundreds of Islamic State militants were allowed to evacuate the town [with their families, and hostages] after bitter fighting and were being pursued by government forces as they dispersed in several directions. Syrian state TV showed government forces firing long range artillery at Islamic State militants fleeing into the desert. It was not clear how many IS fighters were in Albu Kamal before the Syrian army recaptured it.

Now that the Iraqis and Syrians have connected at Albu Kamal, it meant that the road had become wide open from Tehran to Beirut, and that represented a major victory for Iran in the Middle East.

  • Iraq Civil War
  • Syria Revolution

  • The al-Zarqawi Network
  • Iraq Insurgency
  • Jaysh Muhammad
  • Jabhat al-Nusra

  • Ezzet [Izzat] Ibrahim Al-Douri
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • Abu Alaa al-Afari

  • Inherent Resolve - US Intervention
  • Islamic State Apocalyptic
  • Islamic Apocalyptic

  • Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
  • ISIL - Baath
  • ISIL - Background
  • ISIL - Early History
  • ISIL - 2014
  • ISIL - Activities
  • Daash - Spectacular Attacks
  • Daash - Spectacular Attacks -
  • ISIL - WMD
  • ISIL - Funding and Strength
  • ISIL - Oil Income
  • ISIL - Other Funding
  • ISIL - Major Armaments
  • ISIL - Foreign Fighters -
          From Zero to Hero
  • ISIL - Fighting Strength
  • Daesh is on Drugs
  • ISIL - Public Support
  • ISIL - Mapping
  • ISIL - Name
  • ISIL - References

  • 1Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)Philippines
    2Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT)Bangladesh
    3Ansar al-KhilafahPhilippines
    4Ansar al-Shari'ah BrigadePhilippines
    5Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters [BIFF]Philippines
    6Imarat Kavkaz (IK)Russia / Caucasus
    7Islamic Movement of UzbekistanUzbekistan
    8Islamic State in Afghanistan [ISIS-K]Afghanistan
    9Islamic State in AlgeriaAlgeria
    10Islamic State in EgyptEgypt
    11ISIL Europe / BelgiumEurope / Belgium
    12Islamic State in IndonesiaIndonesia
    13Islamic State in LibyaLibya
    14Islamic State Libya Province (Derna)Libya
    15Islamic State PuntlandPuntland, Somalia
    16Islamic Youth Shura CouncilLibya
    17Jabha East AfricaSomalia
    18Jund Al-Khilafa Algeria
    19Jund al-KhilafahTunisia
    20M'arakat al-AnsarPhilippines
    21Mujahideen of the Arabian PeninsulaSaudi Arabia
    22Tehreek-e-Khilafat Pakistan
    23Mujahideen of Kairouan Tunisia
    25Wilayat NajdSaudi Arabia
    26Wilayat San'a Yemen
    27Wilayat SinaiEgypt Sinai
    28Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ)Pakistan
    29Khalifa Islamiyah Mindanao (KIM)Philippines
    30UN Secretary-General reported 29 January 2016 "As of 15 December 2015, 34 groups from all around the world had reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIL. Moreover, in view of its territorial claims of more provinces, it is expected that ISIL affiliates will increase in number and that its membership will grow in 2016."

    A DIA report, written in August 2012, stated "The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation... This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

    In early 2014 Obama told The New Yorker that he considered ISIS to be al-Qaedas weaker partner. If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesnt make them Kobe Bryant, the president said.

    By mid-2016 what seemed to be a fraying proto-state was actually an enemy force that was fanning out, sacrificing territory and battles now so it can wreak havoc on its home turf in years to come. The warning signs for the strategic shift by IS had been visible for months, showing up in the way its fighters retreated from former strongholds and in the way it appears to be setting up its defense of Mosul, the groups capital in Iraq. While IS fighters there were expected to battle to the very end, the groups best and most effective forces most likely will not be among them.

    When it was revealed in December 2015 that the "Islamic State" has a new smartphone app the news fit perfectly into the well-established perception of the group as that of an Internet juggernaut. Particularly compared to its original, al Qaeda, best known for intermittent audio or video recordings in Arabic from its leaders, the "Islamic State" with its steady content stream on social media truly updated terrorist propaganda for the 21st century.

    But Cristina Archetti, a political communications scholar at the University of Oslo and author of "Understanding Terrorism in the Age of Global Media" counters: "There is far too much hype at the moment about social media." This overblown focus on technology obscures the more important question why some people are attracted and embrace radical messages. "Extremism is not a virus one becomes infected by stumbling on some messages on social media," said Archetti. "It is a deliberate choice."

    As the UN noted in January 2016 [S/2016/92]"Islamic Youth Shura Council and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya Province (Derna) in Libya, the Mujahideen of Kairouan and Jund al-Khilafah in Tunisia, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Tehreek-e-Khilafat in Pakistan and Ansar al-Khilafah in the Philippines, are sufficiently attracted by its underlying ideology to pledge allegiance to its so-called caliphate and self-proclaimed caliph.... As of 15 December 2015, 34 groups from all around the world had reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIL. Moreover, in view of its territorial claims of more provinces, it was expected that ISIL affiliates will increase in number and that its membership will grow in 2016. This was a matter of considerable concern, since these groups appear to be emulating ISILs tactics and carrying out attacks on its behalf."

    By June 2016 US officials were touting progress against IS, saying the terror group "is at its weakest point" since rapidly advancing across Syria and Iraqi in 2014. Military officials also pointed to an IS fighting force visibly on its heels in its self-declared caliphate, having lost 50 percent of the terrain it once held in Iraq and upwards of 20 percent of what it once controlled in Syria. There is no way you can look at ISIL today and look at the geographic territory they control, look at their leadership, look at their ability to communicate and judge they are in a better position today then they were a year ago, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters 16 June 2016. Defense Department officials also pointed to diminishing financial resources and low morale among the IS ranks, highlighting reports of some IS leaders stealing gold and trying to flee.

    Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham SITE (Search for International Terrorist Entities) reported 23 January 2007 that the Islamic State of Iraq issued a document titled: The Legality of the Flag in Islam, which contains the image of its flag and information to its symbolism, today, Tuesday, January 23, 2007. Text on the flag reading, No God, but Allah, and Muhammad is Allahs Messenger, are the words contained on the flag of the Prophet Muhammad that he carried into battle and handed to generations of bearers. The Islamic State provides evidence and legitimacy for this banner from Islamic scholars, and goes into detail regarding opinions of the flags material, title, and significance. According to the group the circular shape matches the ring stamp of the Prophet found on many scripts, and the order of the words are to indicate the supremacy of Allah over the Messenger.

    This flag, the group prays, is to be the flag for all Muslims, especially the people of Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq was established to protect the Sunni Iraqi people and defend Islam, by the Pact of the Scented People. It is composed of a variety of insurgency groups, including the Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq, Conquering Army [Jeish al-Fatiheen], Army Squad of the Prophet Muhammad [Jund al-Sahaba], Brigades of al-Tawhid Wal Sunnah, and Sunni tribes. It claims a presence in the governorates of Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, Ninawa, and parts of Babel and Wasit, and is headed by the Emir of the Believers, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

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