What the fall of the last ISIS village in Syria means

Context of the topic:

  • The topic analysis how far the loss of territory has restricted the ISIS group and its continued influence outside Iran and Syria.

About ISIS

  • The Islamic State, or ISIS, is a militant organization that emerged as an offshoot of al Qaeda in 2014.
  • It was founded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi.
  • It quickly took control of large parts of Iraq and Syria, raising its black flag in victory and declaring the creation of a caliphate and imposing strict Islamic rule.
  • The militants’ goal is an ultra-conservative caliphate that strictly enforces Shariah, or Islamic law.

Role of Territory acquisition

  • The ISIS group collected taxes from millions of people residing over the occupied territory, which made them the world’s richest terrorist group.
  • The terrorist group used the tax money to make a number of innovations including learning how to manufacture their own weapons, their own rockets and mortars, making them self-sufficient and recruiting tens of thousands of foreign fighters.
  • So, territory was crucial to the heights they could reach as a terrorist organisation.
  • The loss of territory means they no longer have the ability to collect taxes.
  • However, it has lost its territory but it still has thousands of ISIS fighters just in Iraq and Syria and also has its presence outside Iraq and Syria.

Growing influence outside Iran and Syria:

  • ISIS’s presence is strong and growing in Afghanistan, in the Philippines and in West Africa.
  • According to United Nations report estimates, in Afghanistan there are 2,500 fighters.

Influence in India

  • India has close to 200 million Muslims and it could influence less than 100 persons to travel to join the group in Iraq and Syria.
  • The low numbers points out the efforts at countering radicalisation and plurality of the society that might have helped in stopping the ISIS message seeping down.
  • ISIS Threat in Kashmir
    • There have been instances of ISIS flag being displayed in Kashmir. However, the extent and amount of coordination of ISIS’s support in the Valley is unclear.

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