Post by Ben Johnson
Featured Image by DVIDSHUB
ISIS is a fairly new and its roots only go back to 2006, when is was known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) according to Free Media Pioneer. ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is a “radical militant group” known for their brutal and extreme tactics. They also have some crazy beliefs that they believe help towards their cause. Some beliefs would be that “by killing those who don’t serve their cause (aka their religion), it’s making the world a better place”. It believes that “burying women and children alive is in the name of it’s cause”, that “slavery is ok” (according to John Haltiwanger, of Elite Daily, ISIS has enslaved hundreds of Yasidi women). It also believes that in five years it will control parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as believing that “violence is the path to paradise”, not to mention it’s brutal tactics of beheading, flogging, and crucifying people, as well as videotaping many of these terrible acts.
What is ISIS trying to Accomplish?
According to Andrew C. McCarthy, of National Review ISIS’s “immediate aim” is to break up “President Obama’s Islamic-American coalition.” While the coalition holds very little military power, it does have a symbolic importance behind, which would be Muslim countries are willing to side with the US to stand against the Islamic State. They intend to try and break up the coalition by drawing Jordan into a land war, something their leader King Abdullah knows they cannot win without the help of a real American commitment to fight and lead the way. But ISIS also doesn’t need to draw Jordan into a land war, they just need to destabilise Jordan. Something they are doing through the Syrian refugee crisis, where they are training Jordanians as jihadists, and sending them back to Jordan, and trying to assassinate Abdullah.
What are Their Long Term Goals?
ISIS’s main long term goal is to create a caliphate, which is essentially a unified Islamic Civilization. Caliphates have existed in many forms throughout history, the most recently being the Ottoman Empire. “The caliphate that ISIS wishes to establish however is one that is base off a distorted view of a past Islamic Civilization”- John Haltiwanger of Elite Daily. So they are basically modeling their empire off of one that has “never truly existed”. It wants to “establish a global Islamic state on its beliefs, and will kill anybody that stands in their way”. The group however “does not stand for Islam, as the Quran specifically prohibits the killing of innocent civilians” according to John Haltiwanger of Elite Daily, something ISIS does not hold true to.
Who Leads ISIS?
The leader of ISIS is a man named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Abu is a radical leader who believes that he fights on the behalf of all Muslims, a religion that has more than 1 billion followers. “ISIS does not speak for Islam”, however much Abu and his followers believe they do. “He doesn’t include Shiites in this however, despite the fact that they make up over 200 million Shia Muslims worldwide” according to John Haltiwanger, of Elite Daily. He also believes that he is a “representative of God on Earth.”
Picture by Thierry Ehrmann
What has ISIS Accomplished so Far?
So far ISIS has accomplished to make their name known and feared to the world. They have also made significant territorial gains, starting with their major breakthrough and capture of the city of Mosul. Since then they have made advances going south in Iraq with parts of Baiji captured, Tikrit captured, attacking Samarra, and attacking Dhuluiya. They have also pushed into parts of northern Iraq, which were previously thought to be secure. These parts are controlled by the the countries ethnic Kurdish minority. Kurdish Iraq was consider to be very secure, secure enough to the point where thats where they the US evacuated its embassy staff in Baghdad to the Kurdish city of Erbil, where they still may be. This puts a big threat on the Americans there from ISIS, and is one of the big reasons the US is launching air strikes.
ISIS has also pushed around 10 thousand people from the ethno-religious minority group of the Yazidi up onto the nearby mountain of Mount Sinjar.Whether they are still there or not is unknown, but for a time they were stuck up there, with no food or water, and if they went down the mountain would lead them to being slaughtered by ISIS soldiers. The American humanitarian airdrops will have brought the Yazidi water and perhaps food, and US air strikes would have helped to drive ISIS back from around the mountain, if they believe they’re still there. One thing we know for sure is that ISIS has gotten the world’s attention slightly, and how the future of their organization is to play out, is yet to be seen.