ISIS in 2015: The Global Terrorist Threat and Ongoing Conflict
The year 2015 marked a critical chapter in the rise and response to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a terrorist organization that threatened global security. This comprehensive breakdown explores the background, expansion, ideological underpinnings, international response, and the ongoing conflict with ISIS in 2015.
Background and Emergence of ISIS
Understanding the origins and rise of ISIS:
- Origins: ISIS emerged from Al-Qaeda in Iraq and gained prominence during the Syrian Civil War.
- Caliphate Declaration: In June 2014, ISIS declared the establishment of a self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate, appointing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its leader.
- Territorial Expansion: ISIS rapidly captured large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, including major cities like Mosul and Raqqa.
Ideological Foundations and Brutality
Examining the ideology and tactics of ISIS:
- Salafi Jihadism: ISIS adhered to a radical interpretation of Islam, promoting Salafi Jihadism, which advocates for the establishment of an Islamic state through violent means.
- Brutality and Propaganda: The group gained notoriety for its brutal tactics, including beheadings and mass executions, which were widely publicized through propaganda videos.
International Response and Coalition Efforts
The global response to ISIS:
- Coalition Formation: A U.S.-led coalition was formed to combat ISIS, comprising numerous nations contributing military, financial, and humanitarian aid.
- Airstrikes and Ground Offensives: Coalition airstrikes targeted ISIS strongholds, and ground offensives were launched by Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
- Humanitarian Crisis: The conflict generated a massive humanitarian crisis, with millions of people displaced and in need of assistance.
Ongoing Conflict and the Battle Against ISIS
The evolving situation in 2015:
- Territorial Losses: By 2015, ISIS began to lose territory in both Iraq and Syria due to coalition efforts and local resistance.
- Cultural Destruction: ISIS continued to destroy cultural heritage sites, including ancient artifacts and historical monuments.
- Radicalization and Foreign Fighters: Concerns persisted about radicalization efforts and the flow of foreign fighters to join ISIS.