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The War on IS, the Igniting Spark and the Opinions of Experts

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Iraqi troops in an operation against IS militants near Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad, 25 October 2014 / Photo Anadolu Agency

Over the past two years, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as it called itself until 29 June 2014, has emerged as the most powerful faction among the groups fighting the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Recruiting thousands of foreign, Arab, and local fighters and enjoying a great deal of funding (the sources of which remain controversial), ISIS was able to control vast areas of Syria and Iraq in a remarkably short time.

IS expanded in every direction. Its fighters simultaneously gained ground at the expense of the regimes of both Iraq and Syria, various Syrian opposition groups, and the (semi)autonomous Kurdish territories.

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