After Istanbul Airport Bombing

How ISIS Fraying at the Edges 2 Years after Its Declaration?

How ISIS Fraying at the Edges
 2 Years after Its Declaration?
Thu Jun 30, 2016 15:08:33

Terror group declared its so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq two years ago, but now...?!

It is now two years since a group of extremist fighters – known variously as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh – declared a new "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq.

Experts say the terror group is considerably weakened, but is that just wishful thinking? What is ISIS now – and how has it changed in the last two years?

What is ISIS and how did it start?

The group was regarded by the west as a terrorist organisation even before it began its murderous rampage across the Middle East. Initially called Al-Qaeda in Iraq, it became Isis or Isil in 2013 and then Islamic State after it launched a major offensive in northern Iraq and claimed to have established a caliphate across Iraq and Syria in June 2014. In the Arab world and the US, the derogatory name Daesh is commonly used to describe the group.

What about Istanbul?

While no group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack on Istanbul airport, the Turkish authorities suspect ISIS - and it fell on the anniversary of the caliphate's founding. More than 40 people were killed by three suicide bombers.

Who fights for ISIS?

Out of IS's 43 original founders, 39 have been killed, according to Hisham al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based advisor to the Iraqi government. Kurdish and Iraqi commanders say the group is now using fighters who are less experienced and less ideologically committed than their predecessors. The latest US intelligence suggests there are up to 25,000 militants, more than 6,000 less than before, with the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria falling by almost 90 per cent in the past 12 months, Theweek reported.


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