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Da'esh (ISIS) |OT| 21st century Evil and menace to Civilization | News and Updates

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Aug 31, 2009
readme.txt: Mod-sanctioned thread to keep up with the latest news with regards to ISIS and the fight against them. But, new story new thread rule still applies. This is just a singular place to discuss the latest news and updates of what's going on in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the region. There have been countless things happening in the fight against them, and we always have 2 or 3 different threads to keep up with it. Not anymore.
Who or what is ISIS? Is it part of al-Qaeda?

Last year (2014), the al-Qaeda offshoot in Iraq, which called itself Islamic State of Iraq, announced it was merging with Jabhat Al-Nusra, the "approved" al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria which was fighting the Assad regime alongside other rebel groups. It said it would from now on be called Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham – al-Sham referring to the historical Levant, including both Syria and Lebanon.

Jabhat Al-Nusra's leader, Abu Mohammed al-Golani, rejected what he said was a takeover attempt. After some months of confusion, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's head since the death of Osama bin Laden, supported Golani and, eventually, renounced Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of ISIS.

Since then, there has been a civil war fought across northern Syria between ISIS on the one hand and Jabhat Al-Nusra and other rebel groups on the other. Zawahiri's rejection of Baghdadi, who remains a charismatic and appealing leader for many foreign jihadis, has turned al-Qaeda into a double-headed monster. Some even talk of a "moderate" Zawahiri faction, which is more concerned with local sensibilities and forging alliances with other Sunni groups, and a hardline, ultra-brutal version led by Baghdadi.

Who is ISIS's leader?

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took over the leadership of Islamic State of Iraq after its founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a targeted strike by a US Air Force F16 jet north of Baghdad in June 2006. Zarqawi had earned a reputation as the most brutal of al-Qaeda's emirs, promoting a strategy of mass suicide bombings and highly publicised beheadings, videoed and posted online, and Baghdadi seems to have taken up the methodology with enthusiasm.

Baghdadi's real name is believed to be Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai. Jihadi websites claim he is a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, from a religious family, and that he holds a PhD in Islamic studies.

How did ISIS become so dominant in western Iraq? Wasn't it supposed to have been defeated before the Americans pulled out of Iraq in 2011?
The so-called "surge" launched by President George W. Bush did indeed reduce both Shia and Sunni violence in Iraq between 2006 and 2008.

However, lower level violence, including bombings by ISI especially of Shia pilgrimages and police stations continued, rising slowly last year.

Then, in a lightning strike in December, ISIS seized control of Fallujah and Ramadi, the two major Sunni strongholds of western Anbar province, neighbouring Syria. The Iraqi security forces made some inroads against them, but without any apparent strategy either to retake the cities or to win back their populations. Last week, ISIS began a major assault against other Iraqi cities in Sunni areas, including both Samarra, north of Baghdad, and Mosul.

How did no one see this coming?
Nouri al-Maliki, the Shia prime minister of Iraq, has been unable or unwilling to reach out to Sunni parts of the country – partly because his major electoral opposition in Iraq's sectarian politics comes from more extreme Shia factions. The United States left behind an informal militia of anti-al-Qaeda tribal chiefs known as the Sahwa, or Awakening, movement. But Mr Maliki saw them as hostile to him politically and reduced the salaries the Americans were paying them, making them gradually more and more alienated. al-Qaeda played on Sunni disillusionment with the Maliki administration. Saddam Hussein was Sunni and for Mr Maliki, it was too easy to portray them as remnants of the Saddam regime, but many had genuine grievances.

Without some local support, it would have been impossible for ISIS to achieve what it did in Iraq. But the great spur has been the money and recruits that its operations in Syria have won it. For many Sunni sympathisers, particularly in the Gulf, ISIS represents the front line in a long war between Sunni Islam and what they regard as linked heresies – Shia Islam in Iraq and its backer Iran, and the Alawism of the Assad regime.

ISIS vs Islamic State vs Isil vs Daesh: What do the different names mean – and why does it matter?
Islamic State (IS)
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)

The Islamic State – aka Isis (in current Guardian house style) – is a scary and much-discussed phenomenon, erasing borders, conquering vast areas of Iraq and Syria, massacring its enemies and beheading hostages in slick snuff and propaganda videos. Barack Obama calls it Isil. David Cameron loyally follows suit. Others refer to Isis or IS. Now Francois Hollande has renamed it Daesh. Confused as to how to negotiate this linguistic and political minefield? You might well be.

This terminological conflict has deep historic and cultural roots. The group originated in 1999 as Jamaat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad – quite a mouthful. It got simpler in 2004 when its founder, a Jordanian called Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, pledged an oath to al-Qaida, then still being run by Osama bin Laden from his Pakistani hideout. Its Arabic name became Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (don’t ask!) – though that was shortened in English to al-Qaida in Iraq.

But then it got more complicated. In 2006, under a man who now calls himself Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, it morphed into the Islamic State in Iraq (Isi). In April 2013, two years into the uprising against Bashar al-Assad, Isi bigged itself up as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (Al Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa’al Sham) and declared a Caliphate – a state for all Muslims. Al-Sham is the historic Arabic name for Syria, Lebanon, and (according to some authorities) Jordan and Palestine. This area is known in English (thanks to the antiquated French phrase for the “lands of the rising sun”) as the Levant. Isis is the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Isil is the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant: thus the moniker in Obama’s and Cameron’s briefing books. It’s the same transatlantic solidarity that had London and Washington referring to UBL (Usama Bin Laden) when everyone else used the more familiar OBL (Osama).

Opponents of the term Islamic State say it is neither Islamic nor a state: thus the suggestion of a group of British imams to Cameron that he use the expression “Un-Islamic State.” In a similar legitimacy-undermining vein Egypt’s leading Islamic authority, Dar al-Ifta, urged the media to use the rather heavy-handed QSIS: “Al-Qaida Separatists in Iraq and Syria.”

Daesh, now officially adopted by the French government, is the Arabic acronym for Al Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa’al Sham, (though it should, to be precise, really be rendered as Da’ish). But why the change? It was never golng to be easy for the French EIIL (l’Etat islamique de l’Irak et du Levant) to supplant the more widely used English ISIL or ISIS (cf Nato vs Otan, EU vs UE). And it may, suggested one French blogger, have been chosen for its “sonorité péjorative” (dèche, douche, tache – to be broke, shower, spot). Hollande said he would be using the phrase “Daesh cutthroats”.

IS supporters, in any case, dislike the term Daesh as it does not spell out the crucial Islamic component. In the words of Simon Collis, the British Ambassador to Iraq: “Arabic speakers spit out the name Da’ish with different mixtures of contempt, ridicule and hostility. Da’ish is always negative.” It’s certainly entered the ever-adaptive Arabic language big time: in the plural form – “daw’aish” – it means bigots who impose their views on others.

Reading Material:
The way language works can distort reality. We must be vigilant in reading between the lines

How does Daesh make money?

Oil production and smuggling

ISIS makes between $1 million and $2 million each day from oil sales, numerous sources tell CNN. The oil comes mostly from refineries and wells that ISIS controls in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

The militants smuggle oil into southern Turkey, for example, and sell it to people who desperately need it just to carry on some semblance of everyday life.

The United States-led coalition fighting ISIS has repeatedly targeted ISIS oil assets in an effort to, in part, damage this arm of the group's financial system.

ISIS is estimated to produce about 44,000 barrels a day in Syria and 4,000 barrels a day in Iraq, according to Foreign Policy. A Kurdish newspaper has published the names of people involved with ISIS and its oil enterprise, the magazine reported.

Some on the list were associated with oil smuggling under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Foreign Policy said, as were those associated with a Toyota branch in Irbil that sells ISIS trucks.

Through its oil operations, ISIS appears to be trying to establish a self-sufficient state in the "Sunni triangle" in west and north Iraq, said Luay al-Khatteeb, founder and director of the Iraq Energy Institute.

Today, ISIS controls approximately 6 million people in Iraq and Syria, he said, and "that is a lot of people who need fuel."

Ransoms from kidnappings

In 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department estimated that al Qaeda and its affiliates had accumulated $120 million from ransoms over the previous eight years.

ISIS was once aligned with al Qaeda. The two groups are thought to operate separately but share similarities.

A 2014 New York Times investigation found that since 2008, al Qaeda and its affiliates had received $125 million from ransoms, including $66 million in 2013.

A Swedish company reportedly paid $70,000 to save an employee whom ISIS abducted.

Though officials publicly deny paying ransoms, the French purportedly have a policy of negotiating with militant groups to free its citizens. ISIS kidnapped Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torres, Edouard Elias and Didier François, in 2013 in Syria. They were released in April 2014, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen said in a report that asked whether paying ransoms is a wise strategy.

The United States has a policy of not doing that, and the recent executions of U.S. and other Western ISIS hostages have sparked debate over whether that should change. ISIS demanded hundreds of millions of dollars for American journalist James Foley, said Philip Balboni, the CEO of GlobalPost, the outlet for which Foley freelanced.

ISIS beheaded Foley and released a video of the slaying.

The terrorists also told the Japanese government to pay a $200 million ransom to free two Japanese citizens. Japan did not negotiate, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. ISIS slaughtered the men.

Looting and selling stolen artifacts and antiquities

ISIS allows locals to dig at ancient sites as long as those people give ISIS a percentage of the monetary value of anything found, according to a September 2014 New York Times opinion piece written by three people who had recently returned from southern Turkey and interviewed people who live and work in ISIS-controlled territory.

ISIS' system of profiteering from antiquities thieving is very complicated, the three said, adding that for some areas along the Euphrates River, ISIS leaders encourage semiprofessional field crews to dig.

"ISIS has caused irreparable damage to Syria's cultural heritage," the writers said, and it's crucial that the digging and smuggling of antiquities be stopped because Syria's history is essentially part of its identity. Leaving some of the targeted heritage intact, they said, "will be critical in helping the people of Syria reconnect with the symbols that unite them across religious and political lines."

CNN has extensively reported on ISIS' destruction of some ancient and deeply meaningful sites in Iraq. Officials in Iraq have said ISIS has blown up shrines such as the tomb of Jonah.

Qais Hussain Rashid, director general of Iraqi museums, told CNN that ISIS militants "cut these reliefs and sell them to criminals and antique dealers." He gestured to an ornate carving that's thousands of years old. "Usually they cut off the head, leaving the legs, because the head is the valuable part."

As if pillaging weren't enough, ISIS simply damages fragile historical sites as if they were empty storefronts for the taking. Rashid said that ISIS has used the ancient ruined city of Hatra, or al-Hadr in Arabic, which dates back to the third century B.C., as a training ground, weapons depot and a place to murder prisoners.

'Taxes,' aka extortion

In 2014, ISIS gained control of large swaths of Iraq and Syria and set out to create civil and administrative entities as if it were a legitimate state. That is, after all, what the militants have claimed to be after -- a caliphate, or an Islamic state led by one person, a successor to the Prophet Mohammed.

States demand taxes. In ISIS-controlled areas, to get anything done -- or to survive -- the people pay a fee to the terror group. Businesses are taxed if they want to have essential things like electricity and security, experts say.

Drivers who want to move through a checkpoint must hand over cash. When it's used more and more, extortion can seem to a terrified and traumatized populace as a normal tax system, Joseph Thorndike, the director of Tax Analysts' Tax History Project, wrote in Forbes.


Sometimes there's no pretense such as "taxing." ISIS has stolen money, too. In June 2014, the group raided several banks in Mosul and stole an estimated $500 million, though the full amount is unconfirmed, according to global intelligence firm Stratfor. In Syria, ISIS has seized control of oil facilities, taking over from rebel group al-Nusra, which didn't fight back.

Organs harvesting and sale?

The Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations caused a sensation this week when he said that bodies have been found mutilated, and openings have been carved out of the backs of the corpses. To Mohamed Alhakim, that indicated "some parts are missing."

He said it's possible that ISIS is harvesting and trafficking the organs of dead civilians.

There is tremendous skepticism about that, particularly considering how hard it would be to preserve organs in crude and unsanitary war environments.

Mark Lyall Grant, Britain's ambassador to the U.N., said there was no proof or evidence to support Alhakim's assertion.

Control of crops

Mouaz Moustafa, the executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force in Washington, told CNN that Raqqa, ISIS' de facto Syrian capital, is a kind of breadbasket. "They've got the cotton and the wheat." he said. The United States has targeted grain silos that ISIS controls.

A separate economy?

Last year, ISIS announced that its "Treasury Department" would start minting its own gold, silver and copper coins for its "Official Islamic State Financial System." It's not clear if this has any value. The move is "purely dedicated to God," ISIS declared, and will remove Muslims from the "global economic system that is based on satanic usury."

Crimes of Daesh

Too many and too blood-curdling to mention. From crucifiction to burning of people alive in cages, to attempting to starve a community to death on a mountain top, to beheadings and amputations and torture. They also rape and pillage villages and towns, sexually enslave women and keep prisoners in deplorable conditions.
"The commanders of ISIS have acted wilfully, perpetrating these war crimes and crimes against humanity with clear intent of attacking persons with awareness of their civilian or 'hors de combat' [non-combat] status," the report said, using an alternate acronym for ISIL.

"They are individually criminally responsible for these crimes."

The commission called on the perpetrators to be brought to justice, for instance, before the International Criminal Court.

Based on more than 300 interviews with people who have fled areas under the control of ISIL, as well as photographs and video footage released by ISIL itself, the report paints a picture of life under the group's rule.

ISIL, which has declared an Islamic "caliphate" in an area spanning northern Iraq and eastern Syria, is seeking to "subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination", the report found.

Massacres, beheading boys as young as 15, and amputations and lashings in public squares that residents, including children, were forced to watch figure on the list of crimes, as does the widespread use of child soldiers, stoning women to death for suspected adultery, and holding women as sexual slaves and forcing them to bear children for the fighters.

One person, who fled the group's stronghold Raqqa, told investigators he had seen a man punished in a public square for looting.

"Two people held the victim tightly while a third man stretched his arm over a large wooden board. A fourth man cut off the victim's hand," the witness was quoted as saying.

"It took a long time. One of the people, who was standing next to me, vomitted and passed out due to the horrific scene."
Not to mention destruction of mosques, churches, tombs, and various priceless historical artifacts. They are especially brutal to non_muslim communities, but Majority of their victims have actually been Sunni and Shia Muslims that took up arms against them or spoke out against them. They derive justification for these actions through their own Sheikhs and Muftis that act as the Ministry of Propaganda for the leader. ISIS is also accused of harvesting organs to fund their operations.

This is where the debate is currently happening all across the Muslim world. Almost every public Islamic scholar with an academic background has come out vehemently against ISIS' practices. Although Sunni Islam has no heirarchy, you have to go by what the most prominent and well-respected Imams are saying. The most well-respected Imam currently is Sheikh Bin Bayyah. He has written dozens of books regarding Islamic fiqh (Jurispudence), and he is an expert in every School of Thought (madhab) in Islam. This 83 year old has written a detailed theological argument against ISIS' practices. Even the ones who are of salafist leanings, such as the Grand Mosque Imam of Makkah Sheikh Al As-Sheikh, has come out swinging against ISIS and their wanton violence. It is unprecedented for this imam to give weekly sermons against ISIS, but it's also unintuitive at the same time because such Salafist preachers originated the idea of austere iconoclasm in the first place. The point is, everyone on the theological spectrum is against ISIS' and their followers, save a strand of extremists and their followers.

Essential Reading:
Atlantic: What ISIS really wants
Response to Atlantic
Conclusive Scholarly Opinions on ISIS
Letter to Baghdadi (the self-declared caliph of ISIS)
Sheikh Hamza Yusuf's Challenge to ISIS
Sheikh Yasir Qadhi's condemning of ISIS
NOTE: ISIS has issued a death threat against Hamza Yusuf and Yasir Qadhi.

What is being done to fight this menace to civilization?
To be continued.



Aug 31, 2009
How much area does Daesh control?
More Detail:

What is being done to fight this menace to civilization?

A lot and not a lot at the same time. Before we get to military operations, it's worthwhile to get an estimate of ISIS' recruits. CIA claims that there are between 20,000 to 30,000 fighters in the Syria/Iraq region. Kurdish officials claim their numbers are upwards of 200,000. Both seem a little unrealistic in my humble opinion, and I would lazily guess that the correct number is somewhere in between. United States soon formed a broad worldwide coalition to strike against ISIS (after they took over Mosul), a military intervention named Operation Inherent Resolve.

To be continued.


Jun 11, 2011
I hope so, it would be easier to keep track of all the news-worthy bits.

I can't be bothered to go through numerous threads in the OT section.

It will be both. New news will get new threads but it will all be discussed here. I doubt you'll miss much if you just want to stick to this OT. Also, fuck the daesh.

Great OP.


Mar 12, 2013

People in states considered friends and allies by the US have joined ISIS or are funding it. And in many cases these states have not made enough effort to stop this because of 'enemy of my enemy' or a fear of offending religious sensibilities.


Jun 6, 2004
I can't be the only one who thought of the game franchise when I saw Civilization capitalized in the title.

They are a lot like those leaders in Civ, though. Horribly garbage tier to begin with, make a ridiculously shitty offer, and then pledge war to the end when you decline.

The OP should definitely include this article from The Guardian:

Isis: the inside story
And here is the sad reality of pretty much every war in history. If you don't like the killing and want to quit, you'll be killed by your own people, and with everyone locked in the policy, it just goes on and on until one side is dominated. Just unfathomable stupidity of social policy utterly committed to violence.


Aug 31, 2009
Many of the statues ISIS destroyed recently were known to be replicas
While no one should take ISIS to be any less of a threat than it is, we might take some small consolation from the possibility that some of the sculptures the militants smashed on video this week at the Nineveh Museum in Mosul, Iraq, were replicas. While an Assyrian stone lion smashed in the videos is indisputably a terrible loss, the destruction of replicas in this particular case may soften the blow.

"According to archaeologists, most if not all the statues in the Mosul museum are replicas not originals," reports Channel 4 News, London. “The reason they crumble so easily is that they're made of plaster. ‘You can see iron bars inside," pointed out Mark Altaweel of the Institute of Archaeology at University College, London, as we watched the video together. ‘The originals don't have iron bars.'"

“According to the British Institute," adds Channel 4, “the originals were taken to Baghdad for safekeeping. ISIS probably wouldn't care about the distinction. One false idol is the same as another."

All the same, reaction around the world has been swift and horrified (see The Metropolitan Museum and Others Respond to ISIS Destruction of Assyrian Sculptures). ISIS has also done a brisk business in smuggling antiquities out of the region for sale on foreign markets (see Increase in Antiquities Smuggling Busts amidst Government Crackdown), though the international trade is mostly focused on smaller items.

Why are the militants so bent on destruction of the region's cultural heritage? Amr al-Azm, a Syrian anthropologist and historian, told the New York Times that the destruction of artworks, and the slaughter and capture of Assyrians and others in the area that it accompanied, are strategic. While the militants claim that they are smashing the sculptures because they are idols forbidden by Islam, he posits that “It's all a provocation" aimed to lure U.S. and Iraqi forces to try to retake Mosul. “They want a fight with the West because that's how they gain credibility and recruits," Azm said.

ISIS has “repeatedly threatened to destroy [the museum's] collection," according to the Times, since they took the city in June.


May 27, 2013
Informative OP, thanks for putting it up.

Then, in a lightning strike in December, ISIS seized control of Fallujah and Ramadi... Last week, ISIS began a major assault...

It may be worth using the absolute dates for this paragraph so as to be clearer in the future.


Feb 4, 2005
and Turkey still gives no fucks and still allows free transit to Syria

why are these assholes still accepted as a NATO member?


Apr 10, 2014
and Turkey still gives no fucks and still allows free transit to Syria

why are these assholes still accepted as a NATO member?

Can they really do anything though? These guys go to Turkey under tourist pretense or who knows what and then just head to the border and leave...


Sep 22, 2013
Updating this is going to get depressing

No actually if it's been good news they been losing of course there's been some stuff that doesn't turn out well.




http://www.vox.com/2015/2/23/8085197/is-isis-losing A good documentary by Vice.

Here to keep up with the airstrikes http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2014/0814_iraq/

Also the United States is training forces to attack Mosul . Jordan has announced that 7,000 members of ISIS has been killed and in Jan 22, 2015 John Kerry said that 50% of ISIS high command has been killed among other things.

Mosul Offensive
The U.S. and Iraq are planning a spring offensive to retake the city of Mosul that will require 20,000 to 25,000 Iraqi troops to defeat 1,000 to 2,000 Islamic State fighters, according to an official from U.S. Central Command.

Jordan has vowed to crush the group after it released a highly choreographed video showing the murder of its pilot, who was captured in December when his F-16 warplane went down in Syria.

The air force chief said air strikes since last Thursday had destroyed dozens of targets, including barracks, training camps, ammunition and fuel depots, and residential centres.

“So far, the campaign has destroyed 20% of the fighting capabilities of Daesh,” Jobour said, using another name for Isis.

Jobour said more than 7,000 Isis militants had been killed since Jordan began participating in coalition air strikes.

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said the aerial campaign, launched in September, was beginning to win back territory and deprive the jihadists of key funds.

There have been 2,000 air strikes on Isis since the coalition’s formation in August, Kerry told a security conference in the German city of Munich.

The air war had helped to retake about 270 square miles of territory, or “one-fifth of the area they had in their control”, he said.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/world/meast/isis-coalition-nations/ names some of the countries that is fighting against ISIS.
It's been more than six months since the United States first sent warplanes to conduct airstrikes against the militant group ISIS, and four months since the formation of an international coalition to help fight the terror group.

Since then, warplanes from Western and regional members of the coalition have flown hundreds of missions against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.

While the United States has contributed the bulk of the military might, some 60 nations in all have participated in some way, according to the U.S. State Department. On Monday, Egypt sent fighters to Libya to bomb ISIS positions after the execution of 20 Egyptian Christians.

From http://www.businessinsider.com/r-us...it-3222-islamic-state-targets-pentagon-2015-1 as of Jan 7,2015 here's a list of whats been destroyed :
The targets damaged or destroyed included:

- 58 tanks;

- 184 HMMWVs, the highly mobile multi-purpose wheeled vehicles known as Humvees;

- 26 armored personnel vehicles;

- 303 technical vehicles;

- 394 other vehicles;

- 79 artillery, anti-aircraft weapons or mortars;

- 41 staging areas;

- 11 improvised explosive device positions;

- 16 command posts;

- 92 checkpoints;

- 17 guard shacks;

- 980 other buildings or barracks;

- 673 fighting positions;

- 52 bunkers;

- 14 boats;

- 23 stockpiles;

- 259 oil infrastructure sites.

The Opposition in Syria:

Nusra Front -This powerful rebel group is comprised of both Syrians and foreign militants and has been formally recognized by the central leadership of al Qaeda as its franchise in Syria.

The group was one of the first to use techniques such as suicide attacks and car bombings in urban areas. Despite this, it is seen as more tolerant and less heavy handed in its dealings with civilians and other rebel groups in comparison with ISIL.

The Nusra Front, estimated at around 7,000 to 8,000 members, has worked with most rebel factions fighting in Syria but follows an austere version of Islam and calls for the creation of an Islamic state.

It works closely with many other Syrian Islamist groups member groups. It has joined in some recent rebel-on-rebel battles against ISIL.

Sham Legion - Moderate Islamist rebel alliance comprised of 19 groups. Headed by Mondher Saras. Operates in Homs, Hama, and Idlib provinces. Allied with Ajnad al-Sham, Army of Mujahideen, Criterion Brigades, and Islamic Front. Enemies of the SAA and IS.

Free Syrian Army (FSA) - Blanket anti-Assad rebel group, comprising rebels of all ideologies, though most democratic. Headed by Abdullah al-Bashir. Has 40,000 active fighters. Allied with JAN, the Islamic Front, YPG, and MFS. Enemies of the SAA, NDF, and the IS.

Islamic Front - Islamist umbrella group. Headed by Shaykh Ahmed Abu Issa. Has 40,000-60,000 active fighters. Allied with FSA, Army of Mujahideen, SRF, Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union, Sham Legion, Criterion Brigades, YPG, and JAN. Enemies of the SAA, NDF, and IS. Widely backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/03/us-syria-crisis-rebels-factbox-idUSBREA120O220140203 and http://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivil...ic_guide_to_factions_in_the_syrian_civil_war/ has been fighting ISIS in Syria. Along with the Kurds .

Kurdish and rebel armed groups fighting extremist militants the Islamic State (IS) in Syria have agreed to join forces against their common enemy, the latest in a complex and shifting series of battlefield allegiances.

Units affiliated with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Islamic Front (IF) and US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) will form a new coalition named Burkan al-Forat (Euphrates Volcano) after the river which flows through the region in which the agreement was formalized.

(video) http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbc-ne...-army-fighters-tour-freed-kobani-357403203960

ISIS also fights against the Syrian government and Hezbollah

Assad government - The secularist Arab nationalist Ba'athist government has been headed by Bashar al-Assad since mid-2000.
Syrian Armed Forces (SAA) - National military force of the Syrian government. Has 250,000 active personnel. Has arms supplied by Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Romania, Russia and Slovakia.
National Defense Force (NDF) - Semi-official national military force of the Syrian government. Made up primarily of reserve SAA forces. Has 80,000-100,000 active personnel. Has a wing of women personnel

Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq - Iraqi Shia Islamist political party and militia which split off from the Mahdi Army in 2006. Headed by Qais Khazali. Estimated to have 3,000-10,000 active fighters. Operates in both Iraq and Syria. Allied with the ISF, the SAA, Iran, Kata'ib Hezbollah, the Promised Day Brigades, and the al-Abbas Brigade. Enemies of the IS, the FSA, the Islamic Front, and JAN

Ba'ath Brigades - Syrian Sunni Ba'athist militia. Headed by Mohammed Khaddour. Claims to have 7,000 active fighters. Operates in Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia, Raqqa, and Tartus provinces. Allied with the SAA and the NDF. Enemies of the FSA, JAN, and the IS.

Hezbollah - Lebanese Shia Islamist political party and militia. Designated by Canada, EU, US, and the UK as a terrorist organization. Headed by Hassan Nasrallah. Has 50,000 active fighters, with an estimated 150,000 total in reserves. Operates in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

http://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivil...ic_guide_to_factions_in_the_syrian_civil_war/. I think some of the militias allied with the Syrian Government is fighting in Iraq.

Also Iran has been helping training Iraqi military and militias. Some of Iranian officers has been killed.

From reddit a basic guide of the ISIS leadership. More information on ISIS leadership.

Combat videos maybe NSFW

SAA vs ISIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQwD9B7CJvQ

Iraqi vs ISIS
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=113_1418992682.... http://www.reddit.com/r/CombatFootage/comments/2pvcpc/peshmerga_attacking_isis_position_in_iraq_and/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgyzI6JZX6E ( FSA)



Jun 1, 2007
ISIS appeared in Libya killing 21 Coptic Cristians which led Egypt to strike them their.

They have a Holywood like production values.

Despite being few with limited artillery and members they are hard to stop for some reasons.

Plenty of times anonymous airplains were spotted parachuting aids to ISIS members. These plains are noted to avoid Saudi and Egyptian airspace.

Not all their members are Muslims they were joined by many people with different backgrounds that really liked the state of Anarchy that ISIS created.

The formation of ISIS led many Muslim countries to tag the Muslim brotherhood as the mother brain behind ISIS since Al Baghdadi is a Muslim Brotherhood member. Arab citizens are not as tolerant with theocratic political groups as they used to because surprise surprise knowing religion is not a political qualifier.

Arab countries are planning to do something military related after ISIS risk increased based on the recent movements of some leaders. I assume that Israel and Iran might not like the outcome.


May 19, 2012
Glad to see we finally have an OT for ISIS.

ISW is a great site to use for keeping up with ISIS. They put up a PDF every other day or so with the latest conflicts in Iraq and Syria.


Jun 7, 2013
and Turkey still gives no fucks and still allows free transit to Syria

why are these assholes still accepted as a NATO member?

Turkey should be slapped with sanctions IMO

Turkish people hate ISIS. The government does not allow free transit to Syria. Gangs control the border guards near Syria, powerful gangs who can influence border guards. And the region is very poor, the ISIS people bring very hefty bribes and the people of the region are too poor to say no. Even though the government tries to crack down on this, the border is 400km long.

There is also already a history of unrest at that border which makes things more complicated.

Then again who the fuck knows what Erdogan does, I wouldn't be surprised if he sells out the country for ISIS money. The domestic wells he steals from might be running dry with the state of the economy and weakness of the Turkish Lira.


Dec 25, 2010
Seems odd to emit the fact isis, are engaged against the Kurds, the Iraqi Army / Shia - Iranian militias and of course the Assad regime.

In fact from any information I have seen of late, the conflict between isis and Al Nusra and others is very much a minority issue.


Sep 22, 2013
Seems odd to emit the fact isis, are engaged against the Kurds, the Iraqi Army / Shia - Iranian militias and of course the Assad regime.

In fact from any information I have seen of late, the conflict between isis and Al Nusra and others is very much a minority issue.

ISIS has been fighting those groups longer than they been with the Iraqis and ISIS got a lot of its numbers from Syria. They didn't just spontaneously pop up and took land in Iraq. Even when ISIS lose most of Iraq they still be in Syria; a place were no group on the ground is powerful enough to beat them on their own. Since many foreign fighters go to Syria to fight with them, they can replenish their numbers. There's a reason the United States been focusing on training rebels to fight ISIS soon and additional a lot of the people that was executed they were in Syria for awhile before they was killed. Also Kobane has been a hot issue for awhile. Its only a minor issue if its focused on Iraq.


Dec 25, 2010
ISIS has been fighting those groups longer than they been with the Iraqis and ISIS got a lot of its numbers from Syria. They didn't just spontaneously pop up and took land in Iraq. Even when ISIS lose most of Iraq they still be in Syria; a place were no group on the ground is powerful enough to beat them on their own. Since many foreign fighters go to Syria to fight with them, they can replenish their numbers. There's a reason the United States been focusing on training rebels to fight ISIS soon and additional a lot of the people that was executed they were in Syria for awhile before they was killed. Also Kobane has been a hot issue for awhile. Its only a minor issue if its focused on Iraq.

ISIS is what ISI and before it AQI became, its primary base has been Iraq and the former Saddam military that leads it in leadership positions and fills it ranks constitute the core of the group and the majority of those that first entered Syria, so to say it has been fighting Al Nusra etc longest is nonsense.

Part of the materials they armed themselves with to enter Syria where gathered from raids on isolated Iraqi Army outposts. Also I notice the lack of information in the OP around the shia death squads allowed to operate within Iraqi institutions under Maliki that helped turn the Sunni populace against the state and some into ISI and the general Sunni uprising that initially helped ISIS seize Fallujah and later Mosul.

Buba Big Guns

Apr 10, 2008
Seems odd to emit the fact isis, are engaged against the Kurds, the Iraqi Army / Shia - Iranian militias and of course the Assad regime.

In fact from any information I have seen of late, the conflict between isis and Al Nusra and others is very much a minority issue.

Yea, Iran is actually a huge player in the fight against ISIS, probably more so than any other country.
Nov 22, 2013
Great OT, learnt a lot of new things. Hopefully, these Khawarij get taken out sooner rather than later. Although another group will probably just prop up.


Jun 12, 2010
It is kind of nice that ISIS is like a magnet for extremist idiots to draw them away from places I care about.


Sep 22, 2013
ISIS is what ISI and before it AQI became, its primary base has been Iraq and the former Saddam military that leads it in leadership positions and fills it ranks constitute the core of the group and the majority of those that first entered Syria, so to say it has been fighting Al Nusra etc longest is nonsense.

Part of the materials they armed themselves with to enter Syria where gathered from raids on isolated Iraqi Army outposts. Also I notice the lack of information in the OP around the shia death squads allowed to operate within Iraqi institutions under Maliki that helped turn the Sunni populace against the state and some into ISI and the general Sunni uprising that initially helped ISIS seize Fallujah and later Mosul.

It was but many foreign fighters from many countries joined the rebellion during the course of the civil war and many of them joined ISIS around the time the group official announced their caliphate. There was a huge amount of infighting between the rebels and so many ended up with the group. While the group at least ISIS/ISIL (not ISI) wasn't yet an official thing many of the rank and file fought the regime and the rebels, so yeah the groups that helped formed ISIS has been fighting them longer than the Iraqis.That's why they are called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria now . Additionally, one of there main HQs is Raqqa. I don't think the current ISIS is similar to the one that was formed awhile ago , but the leadership is the similar. Again, many people fighting for the group were part of other groups in Syria and they those groups been fighting with and against the rebels, the Syrian government and against the Kurds. You also didn't comment of the other important reasons why Syria is important. A lot of the recruits that ISIS is getting is were from Syria( were already fighting or went to there to get to ISIS and other countries) . http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/12/world/meast/isis-numbers/ and http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/is...s-foreign-fighter-total-keeps-growing-n314731.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/...ign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20140613 here's a gif timeline https://notgeorgesabra.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/550ngs.gif?w=490

The number of Westerners who have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight for ISIS continues to grow, according to U.S. officials, and has now reached 3,400. But the same officials hope that recent military successes against ISIS, and a series of initiatives by Western governments, will reverse that trend.

"European countries as well as the U.S. are better monitoring the flow, and increasing enforcement to staunch the flow," said one U.S. official. There have been recent round-ups in France, Britain and the U.S.

Many fighters heading to the ISIS caliphate travel via Turkey, and some observers have questioned the willingness -- or the ability -- of the Turkish government to intervene. There are indications, however, that Western lobbying is bearing fruit. The Turks "are applying more pressure," said the official.

Here's some information about it from wiki

On 8 April 2013, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that the al-Nusra Front had been established, financed, and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq,[100] and that the two groups were merging under the name "Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham".[43] Al-Jawlani issued a statement denying the merger, and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra's leadership had been consulted about it.[101] In June 2013, Al Jazeera reported that it had obtained a letter written by al-Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, addressed to both leaders, in which he ruled against the merger, and appointed an emissary to oversee relations between them to put an end to tensions.[102] In the same month, al-Baghdadi released an audio message rejecting al-Zawahiri's ruling and declaring that the merger was going ahead.[103] The ISIL campaign to free imprisoned ISIL members culminated in July 2013, with the group carrying out simultaneous raids on Taji and Abu Ghraib prison, freeing more than 500 prisoners, many of them veterans of the Iraqi insurgency.[96][104] In October 2013, al-Zawahiri ordered the disbanding of ISIL, putting al-Nusra Front in charge of jihadist efforts in Syria,[105] but al-Baghdadi contested al-Zawahiri's ruling on the basis of Islamic jurisprudence,[103] and his group continued to operate in Syria. In February 2014, after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda disavowed any relations with ISIL.[33]

According to journalist Sarah Birke, there are "significant differences" between the al-Nusra Front and ISIL. While al-Nusra actively calls for the overthrow of the Assad government, ISIL "tends to be more focused on establishing its own rule on conquered territory". ISIL is "far more ruthless" in building an Islamic state, "carrying out sectarian attacks and imposing sharia law immediately". While al-Nusra has a "large contingent of foreign fighters", it is seen as a home-grown group by many Syrians; by contrast, ISIL fighters have been described as "foreign 'occupiers'" by many Syrian refugees.[106] It has a strong presence in central and northern Syria, where it has instituted sharia in a number of towns.[106] The group reportedly controlled the four border towns of Atmeh, al-Bab, Azaz and Jarablus, allowing it to control the entrance and exit from Syria into Turkey.[106] Foreign fighters in Syria include Russian-speaking jihadists who were part of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA).[107] In November 2013, the JMA's Chechen leader Abu Omar al-Shishani swore an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi;[108] the group then split between those who followed al-Shishani in joining ISIL and those who continued to operate independently in the JMA under new leadership

You are right about the last paragraph as one of the reasons ISIS got so big is because in Iraq Maliki wasn't a good leader and some people helped get ISIS into power because they didn't like him.

Additionally I want to show the scale of who Daesh is fighting since some of them are major players in fighting ISIS and the fight against ISIS is only a part of a much much bigger and complex conflict. Whatever happens in Syria has an effect on the battle of Iraq and the future of ISIL. This thread is about Daesh so why not talk about the conflicts Daesh is having involving other groups? If anyone wants to beat Daesh you will also have to beat them in Syria because they control a huge portion if that country and get many fighters from there. They have a chance to go after Iraq again. Again, the groups fighting ISIS has a long history and some of them are crucial in dealing with ISIS and have been for a bit. Also knowing the relationship involving ISIS and the other groups helps understand them, their future, and how the battle against them is going. I don't see how any of that is a minor issue; its a very huge issue.


Syrian-Kurdish forces have continued a major offensive in northern Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), cutting off one of its supply lines from Iraq, as fears mounted for dozens of Christians abducted by ISIL in the area.
At least 90 Assyrian Christians were seized on Monday from villages in Hassakeh province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, after the start of the offensive in the same region which began at the weekend.
The Syriac National Council of Syria put the figure of those abducted as high as 150. Hundreds more Christians have fled to the two main cities in Hassakeh province, according to the Council and the Observatory.
Discussing the timing of the abductions, Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the UK-based Observatory, said: "They [ISIL] want to show themselves strong, playing on the religion string, at a time when they are being hit hard."
The new Kurdish offensive launched at the weekend was focused on dislodging ISIL from areas about 100km further to the east, including Tel Hamis, a town that is one of its strongholds.
The latest fighting in Hassakeh is just one piece of the Syrian war that is about to enter its fifth year and is being fought by an array of forces on multiple frontlines.


Unconfirmed Member
This OT is brought to you by Toyota: ISIS Tough.

Juicy Bob

Sep 13, 2009
Can I just ask, how graphic is the VICE documentary?

I like VICE's videos and want to learn more about Da'esh, but I just can't stomach any very graphic violence or beheading videos or anything really NSFL.

Spider from Mars

tap that thorax
Oct 13, 2008
Can I just ask, how graphic is the VICE documentary?

I like VICE's videos and want to learn more about Da'esh, but I just can't stomach any very graphic violence or beheading videos or anything really NSFL.

The worst I remember is shots of dead people on crucifix's
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