An Islamic state (Arabic: دولة إسلامية, dawlah islāmiyyah) is a type of government primarily based on the application of shari'a (Islamic law), dispensation of justice, maintenance of law and order. From the early years of Islam, numerous governments have been founded as "Islamic".
However, the term "Islamic state" has taken on a more specific connotation since the 20th century. The concept of the modern Islamic state has been articulated and promoted by ideologues such as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Israr Ahmed or Sayyid Qutb. Like the earlier notion of the caliphate, the modern Islamic state is rooted in Islamic law. It is modeled after the rule of Muhammad. However, unlike caliph-led governments which were imperial despotisms or monarchies (Arabic: malik), a modern Islamic state can incorporate modern political institutions such as elections, parliamentary rule, judicial review, and popular sovereignty.
Today, many Muslim countries have incorporated Islamic law, wholly or in part, into their legal systems. Certain Muslim states have declared Islam to be their state religion in their constitutions, but do not apply Islamic law in their courts. Islamic states which are not Islamic monarchies are usually referred to as Islamic republics.
The first Islamic State was the political entity established by Muhammad in Medina in 622 CE, under the Constitution of Medina. It represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah (nation). It was subsequently transformed into the caliphate by Muhammad's disciples, who were known as the Rightly Guided (Rashidun) Caliphs (632–661 CE). The Islamic State significantly expanded under the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) and consequently the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258).
The essence or guiding principles of an Islamic government or Islamic state, is the concept of Al-Shura. Different scholars have different understandings or thoughts, with regard to the concept al-Shura. However, most Muslim scholars are of the opinion that Islamic al-Shura should consist of:
Muhammad himself respected the decision of the shura members. He is the champion of the notion of al-Shura, and this was illustrated in one of the many historical events, such as in the Battle of Khandaq (Battle of the Trench), where Muhammad was faced with two decisions, i.e. to fight the invading non-Muslim Arab armies outside of Medina or wait until they enter the city. After consultation with the sahabah (companions), it was suggested by Salman al-Farsi that it would be better if the Muslims fought the non-Muslim Arabs within Medina by building a big ditch on the northern periphery of Medina to prevent the enemies from entering Medina. This idea was later supported by the majority of the sahabah, and thereafter Muhammad also approved it.
The reason why Muhammad placed great emphasis on the agreement of the decision of the shura was because the majority of opinion (by the sahabah) is better than the decision made by one individual.
The Ottoman Sultan, Selim I (1512–1520) reclaimed the title of caliph, which had been in dispute and asserted by a diversity of rulers and "shadow caliphs" in the centuries of the Abbasid-Mamluk Caliphate since the Mongols' sacking of Baghdad and the killing of the last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, Iraq 1258.
The Ottoman Caliphate as an office of the Ottoman Empire was abolished under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1924 as part of Atatürk's Reforms. This move was most vigorously protested in India, as Gandhi and Indian Muslims united behind the symbolism of the Ottoman Caliph in the Khilafat (or "Caliphate") Movement, which sought to reinstate the Caliph deposed by Atatürk. The Khilafat Movement leveraged the Ottoman political resistance to the British Empire, and this international anti-imperial connection proved to be a galvanizing force during India's nascent nationalism movement of the early 1900s, for Hindus and Muslims alike, even though India was far from the seat of the Ottoman Caliphate in Istanbul. However, the Khilaphat found little support from the Muslims of the middle east themselves who preferred to be independent nation states, instead of being under the Ottoman (Turkish ) rule. In the Indian sub-continent, although Mahatma Gandhi tried to co-opt Khilafat as a national movement, it soon degenerated into a jihad against non-Muslims with thousands being killed in malabar region of Kerala (also known as Moplah riots).
"The very term, 'Islamic State', was never used in the theory or practice of Muslim political science, before the twentieth century," according to Pakistani scholar of Islamic history Qamaruddin Khan.
The modern conceptualization of the "Islamic state" is attributed to Abul A'la Maududi (1903–1979), a Pakistani Muslim theologian who founded the political party Jamaat-e-Islami and inspired other Islamic revolutionaries such as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Abul A'la Maududi's early political career was influenced greatly by anti-colonial agitation in India, especially after the tumultuous abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924 stoked anti-British sentiment.
The Islamic state was perceived as a "third way" between the rival political systems of democracy and socialism (see also Islamic Modernism). Maududi's seminal writings on Islamic economics argued as early as 1941 against free-market capitalism and socialist state intervention in the economy, similar to Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr's later Our Economics written in 1961. Maududi envisioned the ideal Islamic state as combining the democratic principles of electoral politics with the socialist principles of concern for the poor.
Today, many Muslim countries have incorporated Islamic law in part, into their legal systems. Certain Muslim states have declared Islam to be their state religion in their constitutions, but do not apply Islamic law in their courts. Islamic states which are not Islamic monarchies are usually referred to as Islamic republics, such as the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Mauritania, Iran and Afghanistan. Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Revolution that overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty. In Iran, the form of government is known as "Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists". Afghanistan was run as an Islamic state ("Islamic State of Afghanistan") in the post-communist era since 1992 but then de facto by the Taliban ("Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan") in areas controlled by them since 1996, and after the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban the country is still known as the "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan". Despite the similar name, the countries differ greatly in their governments and laws.
Pan-Islamism is a form of religious nationalism within political Islam which advocates the unification of the Muslim world under a single Islamic state, often described as a caliphate or ummah. The most famous, powerful and aggressive modern pan-Islamic group that pursues the objective of unifying the Muslim world and establishing a worldwide caliphate is the Wahhabi/Salafi jihadist movement Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration as of 3 August 2011 declared Islam to be the official religion of Libya.
Leading up to the Iranian Revolution of 1979, many of the highest-ranking clergy in Shia Islam held to the standard doctrine of the Imamate, which allows political rule only by Muhammad or one of his true successors. They were opposed to creating an Islamic state (see Ayatollah Ha'eri Yazdi (Khomeini's own teacher), Ayatollah Borujerdi, Grand Ayatollah Shariatmadari, and Grand Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei). Contemporary theologians who were once part of the Iranian Revolution also became disenchanted and critical of the unity of religion and state in the Islamic Republic of Iran, are advocating secularization of the state to preserve the purity of the Islamic faith (see Abdolkarim Soroush and Mohsen Kadivar).
Pakistan was created as a separate state for Indian Muslims in British India in 1947, and followed the parliamentary form of democracy. In 1949, the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan passed the Objectives Resolution which envisaged an official role for Islam as the state religion to make sure any future law should not violate its basic teachings. On the whole, the state retained most of the laws that were inherited from the British legal code that had been enforced by the British Raj since the 19th century. In 1956, the elected parliament formally adopted the name "Islamic Republic of Pakistan", declaring Islam as the official religion.
The claim that Islam is a harmonious blend of religion and politics is a modern slogan, of which no trace can be found in the past history of Islam. The very term, “Islamic State” was never used in the theory or practice of Muslim political science, before the twentieth century. Also if the first thirty years of Islam were excepted, the historical conduct of Muslim states could hardly be distinguished from that of other states in world history.
The Pakistani writer Qamaruddin Khan, for example, has proposed that the political theory of Islam does not arise from the Qur'an but from circumstances and that the state is neither divinely sanctioned nor strictly necessary as a social institution.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi (; Arabic: أبو بكر البغدادي; born Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri, إبراهيم عواد إبراهيم علي محمد البدري السامرائي, 1971) is the leader of the militant terrorist organisation ISIL. ISIL has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations, European Union and many individual states, while al-Baghdadi is considered a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. In June 2014, he was elected by the majlis al-shura (consultative council or Shura council), representing the ahl al-hall wal-aqd of the Islamic State as their caliph.Since 2016, the U.S. State Department has offered a reward of up to $25 million for information or intelligence leading to his capture or death.Abu Mohammad al-Adnani
Taha Subhi Falaha (Arabic: طه صبحي فلاحة; 1977 – 30 August 2016), known as Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami (Arabic: أبو محمد العدناني), was the official spokesperson and a senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also called the Islamic State or ISIS). He was described as the chief of its external operations. He was the second most senior leader of the Islamic State after its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Media reports in August 2016 suggested he was in charge of a special unit, known as the Emni, that was established by ISIL in 2014 with the double objective of internal policing and executing operations outside the ISIL territory.On 5 May 2015, the U.S. State Department Rewards for Justice Program announced a reward up to US$5 million for information leading to his capture.On 30 August 2016, the Islamic State announced al-Adnani has been killed in Aleppo Province. A number of fighting forces claimed responsibility for al-Adnani's death. On 12 September 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense officially confirmed that a U.S. airstrike had killed al-Adnani.Black Standard
The Black Banner or Black Standard (Arabic: الراية السوداء ar-rāyat as-sawdāʾ, also known as الراية العقاب al-rāyat al-ʻuqāb "banner of the eagle" or simply as الراية ar-rāyah "the banner") is one of the flags flown by Muhammad in Muslim tradition. It was historically used by Abu Muslim in his uprising leading to the Abbasid Revolution in 747 and is therefore associated with the Abbasid Caliphate in particular. It is also a symbol in Islamic eschatology (heralding the advent of the Mahdi).The Black Banner has been used in contemporary Islamism and jihadism since the late 1990s. A variant is commonly used as the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.Boko Haram
The Islamic State in West Africa or Islamic State’s West Africa Province (abbreviated as ISWA or ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād (Arabic: جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد, "Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad") and commonly known as Boko Haram until March 2015, is a jihadist militant organization based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon.Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the group has been led by Abubakar Shekau since 2009. When Boko Haram first formed, their actions were nonviolent. Their main goal was to “purify Islam in northern Nigeria." From March 2015 to August 2016, the group was aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was ranked as the world's deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015.After its founding in 2002, Boko Haram's increasing radicalisation led to a violent uprising in July 2009 in which its leader was summarily executed. Its unexpected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September 2010, was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated attacks, initially against soft targets, but progressing in 2011 to include suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja. The government's establishment of a state of emergency at the beginning of 2012, extended in the following year to cover the entire northeast of Nigeria, led to an increase in both security force abuses and militant attacks.Of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict since May 2013, at least 250,000 have left Nigeria and fled into Cameroon, Chad or Niger. Boko Haram killed over 6,600 in 2014. The group have carried out mass abductions including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014. Corruption in the security services and human rights abuses committed by them have hampered efforts to counter the unrest.In mid-2014, the militants gained control of swathes of territory in and around their home state of Borno, estimated at 50,000 square kilometres (20,000 sq mi) in January 2015, but did not capture the state capital, Maiduguri, where the group was originally based. On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, rebranding as Islamic State in West Africa. In September 2015, the Director of Information at the Defence Headquarters of Nigeria announced that all Boko Haram camps had been destroyed.Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, calling itself Islamic State) is recognized by the United Nations as the perpetrator of a genocide of Yazidis in Iraq. The genocide has led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Yazidis from their ancestral lands in Northern Iraq whose women and girls were forced into sexual enslavement by the Islamic State and whose men were killed by the thousands. The genocide led to the abduction of Yazidi women and massacres that killed thousands of Yazidi civilians during what has been called a "forced conversion campaign" being carried out in Northern Iraq by ISIL, starting in 2014.
ISIL's persecution of the Yazidis gained international attention and led to the American-led intervention in Iraq, which started with United States airstrikes against ISIL. Additionally, the US, UK, and Australia made emergency airdrops to Yazidis who had fled to a mountain range and provided weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga who had a role in defending the Yazidis, together with PKK and YPG forces. ISIL's actions against the Yazidi population have resulted in approximately 500,000 refugees and several thousand killed and kidnapped. The Yazidis have also had their human rights violated by terrorist organizations who began killing the Yazidi. The effects of the genocide have impacted other communities of Yazidis, especially in Germany.Human rights in ISIL-controlled territory
The state of human rights in territories controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is considered to be one of the worst in modern history, and has been criticised by many political, religious and other organisations and individuals. 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".ISIL beheading incidents
Beginning in 2014, a number of people from various countries were beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a radical Sunni Islamist group operating in Iraq and parts of Syria.
In January 2015, a copy of an ISIL penal code surfaced describing the penalties it enforces in areas under its control, including beheadings. Beheading videos have been frequently posted by ISIL members to social media. Several of the videoed beheadings were conducted by Mohammed Emwazi, whom the media had referred to as "Jihadi John" before his identification.
The beheadings received wide coverage around the world and attracted international condemnation. Political scientist Max Abrahms posited that ISIL may be using well-publicized beheadings as a means of differentiating itself from Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and identifying itself with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda member who beheaded Daniel Pearl. The publicised beheadings represent a small proportion of a larger total of people killed following capture by ISIL.ISIL territorial claims
The core of the territory of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was from 2014 until November 2017 in Iraq and Syria, where the organization controlled significant swathes of urban, rural, and desert territory. ISIL also controls land in Afghanistan, and used to control land in Libya, Nigeria, Egypt,, Yemen, possibly Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The group also has insurgent cells in Jammu & Kashmir, Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, the Caucasus, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia that do not control territory. As of September 2018, ISIL controls only 200 square miles (520 km2) of territory in Iraq and Syria, according to the US-led coalition against ISIL. This was further reduced to only 40 square miles (100 km2) by late January 2019.
In early 2017, ISIL controlled approximately 45,377 square kilometers (17,520 square miles) of territory in Iraq and Syria and 7,323 km2 of territory elsewhere, for a total of 52,700 square kilometres (20,300 sq mi). This represents a substantial decline from the group's territorial peak in late 2014, when it controlled between 100,000 square kilometres (39,000 sq mi) and 110,000 square kilometres (42,000 sq mi) of territory in total. ISIL's territory has declined substantially in almost every country since 2014, a result of the group's unpopularity and the military action taken against it. ISIL propaganda claims a peak territorial extent of 282,485 km2.The majority of ISIL-controlled territory, though much-diminished, continues to be in eastern Syria, in addition to isolated pockets elsewhere in the country. The majority of the terrorist group's territory, population, revenue, and prestige came from the territory it held in Iraq and Syria. In Afghanistan, ISIL mostly controls territory near the Pakistan border and has lost 87% of its territory since spring 2015. In Libya, the group has lost nearly 100% of its territory, and as of 2017 controls only a handful of villages and neighborhoods. In Egypt, the group controls 910 km2 of land centered around the village of Sheikh Zuweid, which represents less than 1% of Egypt's territory. The terrorists control 6,041 km2 of territory in Nigeria, although the Nigerian government does not acknowledge the group as holding any land. The group has lost 75% of its Nigerian territory since 2014 and has fallen back to its strongholds in northeast Borno State.International military intervention against ISIL
In response to rapid territorial gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during the first half of 2014, and its universally-condemned executions, reported human rights abuses and the fear of further spillovers of the Syrian Civil War, many states began to intervene against it in both the Syrian Civil War and the Iraqi Civil War. Later, there were also minor interventions by some states against ISIL-affiliated groups in Nigeria and Libya.
In mid-June 2014, Iran, according to American and British information, started flying drones over Iraq, and, according to Reuters, Iranian soldiers were in Iraq fighting ISIL. Simultaneously, the United States ordered a small number of troops to Iraq and started flying crewed aircraft over Iraq.
In July 2014, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Iran sent Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft to Iraq, and Hezbollah purportedly sent trainers and advisers to Iraq to monitor ISIL's movements. In August 2014, the US and Iran separately began a campaign of airstrikes and drone strikes on ISIL targets in Iraq. Since then, fourteen countries in a US-led coalition have also executed airstrikes on ISIL in Iraq and in Syria.
In September 2015, Russian forces, with the permission of the Syrian government, began hundreds of bombing raids against ISIL, al-Nusra Front, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).Since the airstrikes started, ISIL has been losing ground in both Iraq and Syria. There have been multiple accounts of civilian deaths from the airstrikes. In mid-2016, the US and Russia planned to begin coordinating their airstrikes, however, this coordination did not materialize that year.As of December 2017, ISIL is estimated to control no territory in Iraq, and 5% of Syrian territory, after prolonged actions. On 9 December 2017, Iraq declared victory in the fight against ISIL and stated that the war in Iraq was over.
Consequently, at the end of 2017, territorially ISIL was mainly defeated.Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
The Iraqi Civil War was an armed conflict which began in January 2014 and ended in December 2017. In 2014, the Iraqi insurgency escalated into a civil war with the conquest of Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit and in the major areas of northern Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS or IS). This resulted in the forced resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as well as airstrikes by the United States, Iran, Syria, and at least a dozen other countries, the participation of Iranian troops and military and logistical aid provided to Iraq by Russia. On 9 December 2017, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory over ISIL, though others warned that they expected ISIL to fight on via an insurgency, and by other means. ISIS switched to guerrilla 'hit and run' tactics in an effort to undermine the Iraqi government's effort to eradicate them.Islamic State of Iraq
The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI; Arabic: دولة العراق الإسلامية Dawlat al-ʿIrāq al-ʾIslāmiyyah) (commonly referred to as al-Qaeda in Iraq) was a militant Salafist jihadist group that aimed to establish an Islamic state in Sunni, Arab-majority areas of Iraq during the Iraq War and later in Syria during the Syrian Civil War.
Islamic State of Iraq traces its origins to Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, which was formed by the Jordanian national Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Jordan in 1999. Al-Zarqawi led the group, under numerous name changes, until his death in June 2006. Jama'at participated in the Iraqi insurgency (2003–2011) following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by Western forces, and on 17 October 2004 al-Zarqawi had pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network; and the group became known as Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (commonly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq). In January 2006, Tanzim and five other Iraqi insurgent groups formed the Mujahideen Shura Council, which on 15 October 2006 merged to form Islamic State of Iraq. At their height in 2006–2008, ISI had military units or strongholds in Mosul and in the governorates of Baghdad, Al Anbar and Diyala, and they claimed Baqubah as their capital. The new group continued to be commonly referred to as al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Shortly after al-Zarqawi's death, al-Qaeda in Iraq named a new leader, Abu-Hamzah al-Muhajir, thought to be a pseudonym, which the US military named as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian militant based in Baghdad. Al-Masri and ISI leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi were killed during a military operation on a safehouse on 18 April 2010. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was succeeded as leader of ISI by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. On 14 May 2010, al-Masri was succeeded by Abu Suleiman al-Naser (also known as al-Nasser Lideen Illah Abu Suleiman), who was in turn killed some time in 2011. Following Suleiman's death, the position of "War Minister" was replaced by a Military Council composed of former regime military officers under the leadership of Haji Bakr.On 7 April 2013 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi transformed ISI into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS, IS), which is still active today. Haji Bakr, whose name was Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, was killed in January 2014, and was succeeded by Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi as head of the ISIL Military Council. Al-Bilawi was killed on 4 June 2014, and was reportedly succeeded by Abu Mohannad al-Sweidawi as leader of the ISIL Military Council. There were reports in November 2014 that al-Sweidawi had been killed in an Iraqi airstrike that reportedly also injured Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Daily Beast reported that al-Sweidawi was succeeded by senior ISIL figure Abu Ali al-Anbari, who was in turn killed on 24 March 2016. Al-Anbari was considered the ISIL second-in-command in Syria and was viewed as a potential successor of ISIL's present leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The second-in-command in Iraq was Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, who was killed on 18 August 2015, and who was succeeded as the ISIL leader in Iraq by Abu Fatima al-Jaheishi.Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL ), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS ), officially known as the Islamic State (IS) and by its Arabic language acronym Daesh (Arabic: داعش dāʿish, IPA: [ˈdaːʕɪʃ]), is a Salafi jihadist militant group and former unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi doctrine of Sunni Islam. ISIL gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive, followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and many individual countries. ISIL is widely known for its videos of beheadings and other types of executions of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, and its destruction of cultural heritage sites. The United Nations holds ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes. ISIL also committed ethnic cleansing on a historic scale in northern Iraq.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. The group proclaimed itself a worldwide caliphate and began referring to itself as the Islamic State (الدولة الإسلامية ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah) or IS in June 2014. As a caliphate, it claimed religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide. 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 rejecting its statehood.In Syria, the group conducted ground attacks on both government forces and opposition factions and by December 2015 it held a large area in western Iraq and eastern Syria, containing an estimated 2.8 to 8 million people, 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. 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.In July 2017, the group lost control of its largest city, Mosul, to the Iraqi army. Following this major defeat, 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. U.S. 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. On 10 December 2017, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Caucasus Province
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Caucasus Province (Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام - ولاية القوقاز, ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām – Wilayah al-Qawqaz, Russian: Вилаят Кавказ Исламского государство Ирака и Леванта, Vilayat Kavkaz Islamskogo gosudarstvo Iraka i Levanta), also known as ISIL-CP, is a branch of the militant Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), active in the North Caucasus region of Russia. ISIL announced the group's formation on 23 June 2015 and appointed Rustam Asildarov as its leader.Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام – ولاية خراسان, ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām – Wilayah Khorasan), or ISIL-KP, is a branch of the militant Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some media sources also use ISK, ISISK, IS-KP, or ISIS-K in referring to the group. The Khorasan group's area of operations also includes other parts of South Asia, such as India where individuals have pledged allegiance to it.ISIL announced the group's formation in January 2015 and appointed former Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militant Hafiz Saeed Khan as its leader, with former Afghan Taliban commander Abdul Rauf Aliza appointed as deputy leader. Aliza was killed in a U.S. drone strike in February 2015, while Khan was killed in a U.S. airstrike in July 2016.List of terrorist incidents linked to ISIL
The following is a list of terrorist incidents and arrests that have been connected to or have been said by reliable sources to be inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daesh.
Since June 2014, when ISIL proclaimed itself to be the Islamic State, according to a running count kept by CNN, it has "conducted or inspired" over 70 terrorist attacks in 20 countries, not including Syria and Iraq.Military activity of ISIL
The military of ISIL is the fighting force of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The total force size has been estimated from tens of thousands to over two hundred thousand. ISIL's armed forces grew quickly during 2014. The ISIL military, including groups incorporated into it in 2014, openly operates and controls territory in Syria, multiple cities in Libya, and Nigeria. In October 2016, it conquered the city of Qandala in Puntland, Somalia. It also has had border clashes with and made incursions into Lebanon, Iran, and Jordan. ISIL-linked groups operate in Algeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and in West Africa (Cameroon, Niger, and Chad). In January 2015, ISIL was also confirmed to have a military presence in Afghanistan and in Yemen.Their military is based on mobile units using light vehicles such as gun-equipped pick-up trucks (technicals), motorbikes and buses for fast advances. They also use artillery, tanks and armored vehicles captured from the Iraqi and Syrian Armies. The Islamic State also captured some aircraft.
ISIL has a long history of using truck and car bombs, suicide bombers, and IEDs. They have also deployed chemical weapons in Iraq and Syrian Kurdistan. Other terror tactics include genocide, mass executions (including beheadings), psychological operations through sophisticated propaganda, widespread torture of prisoners, and organized sexual violence and slavery.Operation al-Shabah
Operation al-Shabah (Arabic: عملية الشبح, lit. 'Operation Phantom') was launched in May 2013 by the Iraqi Army, with the stated aim of severing contact between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the al-Nusra Front in Syria by clearing militants from the border area with Syria and Jordan.Persecution of Christians by ISIL
The Genocide of Christians by ISIL refers to the persecution of Christian minorities, within its region of control in Iraq, Syria and Libya by the Islamic extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Persecution of Christian minorities climaxed following its takeover of parts of Northern Iraq in June 2014.According to US diplomat Alberto M. Fernandez, "While the majority of victims in the conflict raging in Syria and Iraq have been Muslims, Christians have borne a heavy burden given their small numbers."On February 3, 2016, the European Union recognized the persecution of Christians by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as genocide. The vote was unanimous. The United States followed suit on March 15, 2016, declaring these atrocities as genocide. The vote was unanimous. On April 20, 2016, British Parliament voted unanimously to denounce the actions as genocide. A similar motion however failed in Canada when it was opposed by the majority of MP's in Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.Syrian Civil War
The Syrian Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية السورية, al-ḥarb al-ʾahlīyah as-sūrīyah) is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria fought between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations.The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of the 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Syrian government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for Assad's removal were suppressed. The war is being fought by several factions: The Syrian government and Syrian Armed Forces and its international allies, a loose alliance of majorly Sunni opposition rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with a number of countries in the region and beyond being either directly involved or providing support to one or another faction (Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, as well as others).
Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah support the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Armed Forces militarily, with Russia conducting military operations since September 2015. The U.S.-led international coalition, established in 2014 with the declared purpose of countering ISIL, has conducted airstrikes primarily against ISIL as well as some against government and pro-government targets. Since 2015, the US has also supported the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and its armed wing, the SDF. Turkey, on the other hand, has become deeply involved against the Syrian government since 2016, actively supporting the Syrian opposition and occupying large swaths of northwestern Syria. Between 2011 and 2017, fighting from the Syrian Civil War spilled over into Lebanon as opponents and supporters of the Syrian Arab Republic travelled to Lebanon to fight and attack each other on Lebanese soil. Furthermore, while officially neutral, Israel has conducted airstrikes against Hezbollah and Iranian forces, whose presence in southwestern Syria it views as a threat.International organizations have accused virtually all sides involved, including the Ba'athist Syrian government, ISIL, opposition rebel groups, and the U.S.-led coalition of severe human rights violations and of massacres. The conflict has caused a major refugee crisis. Over the course of the war, a number of peace initiatives have been launched, including the March 2017 Geneva peace talks on Syria led by the United Nations, but fighting continues.