Population Youth / The Growth of ISIS

The Growth of ISIS

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) also known as IS began as an Al Qaeda splinter group. Its current leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. ISIS aims to create a Sunni Islamic ‘Caliphate’ that covers Iraq, Syria and more.  It is estimated that ISIS now has around thirty thousand fighters.

It is believed that members of Iraq’s Sunni community (that Saddam Hussein belonged to) unhappy with the American occupation of their country and the political power given to the Shia community came together to form ISIS.

2004- Zarqawi creates an extension of Al Quaeda in Iraq  and escalates the fight against majority Shia community

2006- Al Zarqawi is killed in a U.S. airstrike and Abu Ayyub al-Masri takes his place as the leader of Al Qaeda within Iraq. He creates a separate organisation called Islamic State in Iraq (ISI)

2010- Abu Ayyub is killed and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi becomes the leader of ISI

2013- ISI declares that the Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda militant group from Syria would be joining ISI and the group will now be called ISIS. Al Nusra rejects the merger which leads to months of fighting between ISIS and Al Nusra

June 9th-10th 2014- ISIS captures Mosul’s airport, television stations and thus takes control over one of the biggest cities in Iraq

June 11th 2014- ISIS takes over another major city in Iraq, Tikrit

June 21st 2014- ISIS takes over several other Iraqi towns along with Al Qaim, a town on the border of Syria

June 29th 2014- Changes its name to IS or Islamic State, and announces the creation of an Islamic Caliphate with no state boarders

June 30th 2014- The United States announces it is sending in additional troops to Iraq for security and support

July 2014- ISIS takes control over Syria’s largest oil field and a number of Syrian cities

August 2014- The U.S. Pentagon authorises targeted air strikes to protect U.S. personnel and to prevent the genocide of minorities. US journalist James Foley is killed

September 2014- US journalist Steven Sotloff is beheaded, and a British aid worker killed

September 2014- United States launches airstrikes against ISIS

October 2014- Allan Henning a British hostage is beheaded

November 2014- The U.N.  Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria says that ISIS has officially committed war crimes and crimes against humanity and the leaders should be held responsible in the International Criminal Court

January 20th 2015- ISIS has held two Japanese hostages and asked Japan for 200 million USD in exchange for their lives

January 22-24th 2015- ISIS beheads the first hostage and a few days later a picture the second hostage is shown decapitated

February 3 2015- Jordanian military pilot Moath-al-Kasasbeh is burnt alive for supporting the west against ISIS

February 5 2015- More countries enter the fight against ISIS as Jordanian airforce strikes ISIS targets in Syria

February 11 2015- U.S. president asks Congress to authorise use of military force against ISIS

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