Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant

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ISIS is an acronym for the term Islamic State in Iraq and Levant or sometimes also referred to as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The ISIS started being active in 1999 formed under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden's protege Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and since for then they have been on a mission to establish a caliphate across Iraq, Syria and beyond these borders. They have been pushing their agenda of worldwide dominance on religious, political and military matters over Muslims ever since (Beckett, 2005).

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ISIS are established under the name Jamaaat al- Tawhid Wal-Jihad and in 2004 they joined up with Bin Ladens al-Qaeda, and the group later became known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AIQ). Ideological differences developed between these two merged groups, Zarqawi believed in the purging of the global Islamic community, the al-Qaeda on the other had believed that Muslims we not a problem but they apostate nations (Wood, 2015). Zarqawi went ahead to enforce sharia laws and this lead to suffering and alienation of the Islamic people and in 2006, Zarqawi split with al-Qaeda and took his followers with him, and they developed a separate faction under al-Qaeda in Iraq known as the Majilis Shura al-Mujahedin ("ISIS Fast Facts", 2016).

The war in the Persian Gulf has got the world questioning if the terror activities in this Middle Eastern nations will ever cease. Terror groups like ISIS in this region have managed to hold international groups like NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and military groups like the United States of America others like France at a stance through the use of Asymmetric Warfare. Asymmetrical warfare plays a significant and central role in Irans military tactical operations ("ISIS Fast Facts", 2016). Iran uses all available resources in a bid to increase their strength, the geography of their nation, the willingness of the Iranian people to take in casualties and even the strategic depth of their Gulf.

The author of The New World of International Relations Roskin brings out the topic of the Persian Gulf and the Asymmetrical conflict; the Persian Gulf is in a war with world powers due to their possession of world energy security system. The most important thing in the Persian Gulf is the vast amounts of energy sources (oil and gas) but narrowing down to energy alone will narrow the concept, and it may lead to the incomplete outlook of the situation in Syria. The author argues that many nations like Iran and Iraq have smaller military capabilities as compared to their opponents. Technological advances in tactical military operations, weaponry in inland, air and naval attacks is prominent in nations like United States of America are different from the military skillset of smaller nations. Nations like Iran have put to use asymmetrical warfare, the use of naval mines, land mines, and even inland missile launchers; these warfare techniques have helped them maintain their ground in the chaos (Mockaitis, 2003).

Militant Groups like ISIS have grown at rather faster speeds than many groups that preceded them. The use of contemporary tools like Social Media has helped promote their agenda and issues like reactionary politic, and the questioning of religious fundamentalisms have come up. The irony in the whole fiasco is that the fighters are destroying holly grounds and even religious antiquities as their leaders, on the other hand, insist on going back to the early days of Islam (Mockaitis, 2003). This is an pointer of the presence of other hidden agendas that is not publicly declared.

Funding is always a great factor that helps keep the machineries of militant groups oiled. ISIS is believed to be the most highly funded terrorist group in the world. In 2006, the terror group churned $70 million from criminal activities. The group is mainly funded by smuggling of oil, the use of kidnappings and requesting for ransom, the sales of antiquities in western markets where they are highly prized. Bank robbery was also one of their specialty when the took over Mosul they robbed the central bank $425, Million. The group is believed to be bringing in $1million to $ 4Million per day from all their activities.

In the Movies Three Kings, the four members of the US Army went ahead to take the spoils of war for themselves. The three soldiers Sgt. Troy Barlow, Chief Elgin and Pvt. Conrad Vig found a map showing the location of gold bullion looted in Kuwait by Saddam Husseins troops. These three together with Sgt. Archie Gates. The take advantage of the truce that had been called, this situation relates to what is going on in the country, mostly the people who come in as peace keepers are still the looters pf the spoils of war. The level of irony in the actions of people and their priorities can tell you of the selfish agendas of the participants of this situation.

The need to control the worlds biggest energy reserve by super power nations is the main reason for cropping up of terror groups. Mostly these terror groups are not terror groups as many would want to taint them as, but rather they may be groups fighting for what is rightfully theirs. Many terror groups have been retaliating on super power attack through kidnappings of the citizens like journalists and doctors from super power nations. This tag of war between these nations have been continuous, and it is unceasing, killings of journalists and tourists have been televised and have been viral online for years now, on the other hand, super power nations have been launching drone attacks and air strikes with fighter jets, it is a case of attack after attack. The fighting does not help out as the situation keeps worsening, the refugee crisis in Syria is raising concerns. The lack of proper governance structure among countries in these regions is getting serious, the rule of terror groups is getting worse (Wood, 2015).

The terror situation in Iraq, Iran and Syria are bad, and the continuous use of asymmetrical warfare tactics will always bar super power nations from ever stopping the warfare. The greed displayed by both the proponents and the opponents is an indicator of an unending.


Beckett, I. (2005). The Future of Insurgency. Small Wars & Insurgencies, 16(1), 22-36.

ISIS Fast Facts. (2016). CNN. Retrieved 21 March 2016, from

Mockaitis, T. (2003). Conclusion: the future of terrorism studies. Small Wars & Insurgencies, 14(1), 207-212.

Wood, G. (2015). What ISIS Really Wants. The Atlantic. Retrieved 21 March 2016, from

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