An ‚Islamic State‘ Is Born
by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
June 12, 2014
In a stunning and deeply significant development, the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) organization this week captured the city of Mosul. They then moved on to take Tikrit unopposed and according to reports yesterday were headed toward the capital, Baghdad.
Five-hundred thousand people have fled Mosul in the wake of its conquest by the jihadis. The city, which has an Arab majority population along with large Kurdish and Turkmen minorities, is Iraq’s second largest. Its capture was the latest and most significant success in an offensive launched by the ISIS jihadis a week ago.
It also represents a calamitous defeat for the US-trained security forces of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
ISIS is the most brutal and best-organized of the jihadi elements that have emerged in Iraq and Syria over the last decade. It now controls a contiguous area of territory stretching from deep into western Iraq and including the cities of Mosul and Falluja, across the border into Syria, taking in the province of Raqqa, including its capital Raqqa City, and continuing until the border with Turkey. The movement has a presence as far as the southern suburbs of Baghdad.
The ISIS offensive into Iraq was well-planned, and its execution shows the extent to which ISIS sees its activities in Iraq and Syria as part of a single conflict.