TheIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Terrorismis a social ill against humanity, ridding human beings the right tolife and depriving them of the favorable environment to transacttheir affairs as social beings. The world has experienced heinousacts of terrorism, which have claimed many a life and destroyedproperty considerably. Therefore, the interest to understand thereason some sects think it right to take away life without a secondthought has arisen among the other people of the world. In this case,learning of the terrorist group “Islamic State of Iraq” seemsmandatory to help prevent their acts and ultimately uproot them fromthe world. The U.S. has been on the forefront in the warfare againstterrorism. They have made tremendous gains, including the killing ofHussein and recently Bin Laden. Importantly, ISIS is a rebel groupoperating primarily in Iraq and Syria. It has emerged as an activeentity with sophisticated weaponry, command, and logisticalcapacities (McQuagge, 2015). The failure of U.S. and other westernallies to institute a working democratic government in Iraq, bringsocio-political order and particular political actions influenced bythe local people created a thriving ground for this terrorist sect.
TheU.S. involved in the fight to oust Sadam Hussein out of power afterhis administration was observed to be a threat to his very own peoplewho needed the protection of their government. She murdered manyindividuals who opposed his government, and it raised concern amongthe rest of the world. In a nutshell, the U.S. and other westernallies succeeded in uprooting Hussein’s government, which wasmainly a Sunni affair, and installed a new administration, whichcomposed of majorly the minority group, Shia. The new cabinet wasleft in limbo on how to steer governorship to the levels ofreinstating the lost peace. It was only humanly considerate that theShia community, which has suffered under the rule of Hussein, begiven the executive positions that were left vacant after the formergovernment had been ousted. However, this rendered the Sunni clan inopposition as they contested the reclamation of the positions theyhad earlier occupied. The bad blood that existed between the twocommunities became a breeding ground for the ISIL (Milne, 2015).
Additionally,in understanding ISIS one has to learn its background and the mindsbehind its formation and the igniting factors towards its creation.It is important to comprehend that ISIS advanced as “a combinationbetween al-Qaeda’s tactic of agreement-based jihad, exportedextremism and the intrinsic lack of control over these agreements”(McQuagge, 2015).
TheIslamic state in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) also called Islamic state inIraq and Syria (ISIS) which has since 2014 been referred to as theIslamic state is a Sunni insurgent group operating mainly in Iraq andSyria. While functioning as ISIL, the Sunni insurgents attacked Iraqgovernment forces deployed in major western cities and Syria ISILfought government troops and rebels in the Syrian civil war. It wasin 2014 that ISIL declared itself as a caliphate led by Abu Bakral-Baghdadi.
TheSyrian civil war helped ISIL expand its resources and territorialcontrol. ISIL settled in eastern Syria where it controlled oilrefineries from where it sold the oil to the black market and alsoback to the Syrian government. ISIL claims to have many fighters frommajor European countries as well as the USA and some Arab worldcountries. ISIL has been a military success in Syria as it took overthe city of Raqqa in Syria. In 2014 ISIL took advantage of thetension between Iraq Sunni minority and the Shia-led government totake over the city of Fallujah. Once ISIL took control of severaltowns in Iraq and Syria, ISIL embarked on cultural cleansing bydestroying Shiite and Christian places of worship. ISIL appliesstrict Islamic law in the areas it controls by exercising brutalforce to persons who find themselves on the wrong side of the ISILlaws.
ISILhas since assumed administrative roles since declaring the regionsunder its rule to be a caliphate. Some of the governmental functionsthat ISIL has assumed are a collection of taxes, policing, educationand provision of healthcare all by the provisions of the Islamic law.ISIL uses brutal force and propaganda in spreading fear of its reign.In 2016 many videos showed ISIL fighters beheading westernjournalists as retaliation for the US air strikes in Baghdad whereISIL tried to take control (Stern, 2014). The images and videosspread by ISIL moved the international community forcing aninternational coalition of Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, andSaudi Arabia to curb the expansion of ISIL.
Inconclusion, the expansion of ISIL has been fast into the rest of theworld with major affiliates being conflicted regions in Africa,Middle East, and Central Asia. For example, Boko Haram of Nigeria andthe Taliban of Afghanistan have pledged allegiance to ISIL. ISIL hasbeen linked with several attacks in Asia, North America and Europe.The bombing of Brussels Airport in March 2016 where 32 people died isattributed to ISIL (Stern, 2014).
McQuagge,E. (2015). The Genesis of ISIS. Special Warfafe, 28(1). RetrievedNovember 15, 2016, fromhttp://www.soc.mil/SWCS/SWmag/archive/SW2801/28-1_JAN_MAR_2015_vWeb.pdf
Milne,S. (2015). Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isisin Syria and Iraq. TheGuardian,3.
Stern,J. (2014). The Continuing Cost of the Iraq War: The Spread of JihadiGroups throughout the Region. WatsonInstitute for International Studies Research Paper,(2014-19).