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A Rogue State Along Two Rivers

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A Rogue State Along Two Rivers

Post by Neno on Thu 12 Feb 2015, 12:50 pm

  MIDDLE EAST  


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A Rogue State Along Two Rivers

How ISIS Came to Control Large Portions of Syria and Iraq

By JEREMY ASHKENAS, ARCHIE TSE, DEREK WATKINS and KAREN YOURISH   July 3, 2014  
The militant group called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, seemed to surprise many American and Iraqi officials with the recent gains it made in its violent campaign to create a new religious state. But the rapid-fire victories achieved over a few weeks in June were built on months of maneuvering along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

The Euphrates

   
Aleppo: Ejected by Other Rebel Groups

In 2013, ISIS emerged from the remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq and began to operate in Syria. The vacuum created by the country’s civil war provided a place for ISIS to rebuild. Syrian rebel groups initially welcomed ISIS as an ally, but soon realized that they did not have the same goals. ISIS was more interested in forming an Islamic state than in toppling the Syrian government — and had no problem with killing other insurgents to make it happen. These tensions culminated in a revolt against ISIS. The group was driven out of Aleppo, Syria's largest city, in January by the other rebel groups.
 
Jarablous: Supply Routes
ISIS Control
After being pushed out of Aleppo, ISIS moved east, attacking rebel bases and taking over towns like this one, near the border with Turkey, that are arteries for money and supplies.
 
Maskana: Terror Through Social Media
ISIS Control
ISIS may practice a seventh-century version of Islam, but its public outreach is thoroughly modern. It has used Facebook as a death-threat generator; the text-sharing app JustPaste to upload book-length tirades; and YouTube and Twitter to post gruesome videos and photos to terrify its enemies (reportedly live-tweeting the amputation of a man's hand in this town, for example).
 
Raqqa: Instituting Strict Rules
ISIS Control

Via Associated Press
In keeping with its goal of creating an Islamic state, ISIS has instituted strict rules in most of the towns it has seized. In this city, which was the provincial capital and is now ISIS's de facto capital, smoking and music are banned, women must cover their faces and shops must close at prayer time. The punishment for not complying: execution in the main square.
 
Deir al-Zour: Besieging a Provincial Capital
Attacked by ISIS

Ahmad Aboud/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
While ISIS holds sway over much of the oil-rich province of which this city is the capital, control of the capital itself has been split among other rebel groups and the Syrian government. ISIS took control of a bridge leading into the city, creating a partial blockade.
 
Abu Kamal: Erasing the Syria-Iraq Border
ISIS Control
ISIS seized the Syrian side of this border crossing on June 30 after brutal clashes with a Syrian insurgent group. Now, with both sides of the crossing under its control, ISIS can move men and supplies easily between Iraq and Syria. It is also another step closer to achieving its goal of creating an Islamic state across the two countries.
 
Qaim: Iraqi Forces Flee Border Post
ISIS Control
ISIS took control of this crossing on June 22 after Iraqi troops, sent to reinforce the border, fled. Members of that unit said they were eager to fight but that their commanders failed to provide them with water and food, causing them to abandon their positions.
 
Rawa: Without a Fight
ISIS Control
ISIS captured this town and neighboring Ana after Iraqi troops fled, though a government spokesman said the security forces withdrew as a “tactical” move to reinforce troops in other areas.
 
Haditha Dam: Concerns About Sabotage

With the nearby towns of Rawa and Ana under ISIS control, officials are concerned that the group could capture Haditha Dam, Iraq’s second-largest, and wreak havoc. When ISIS fighters seized the Falluja Dam in April, they opened it, flooding crops as far as 100 miles south. The water washed east as well, reaching Abu Ghraib, near Baghdad. On the other hand, ISIS fighters have been in control of the Tabqa Dam in Syria for months without major incident.
 
Ramadi: The Government Provides an Opening for ISIS
ISIS Control
Tensions between this city’s residents, who are mostly Sunni, and the central government had been brewing here for at least a year. Then in December, Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, ordered security forces to dismantle a protest camp — an outlet for disenchanted Sunnis angered at their treatment by the Shiite-dominated government. The action ignited days of violence and created the opening ISIS needed to seize parts of the city, the provincial capital.
 
Falluja: A Symbolic Fall
ISIS Control

Mohammed Jalil/European Pressphoto Agency
Just days after the raid on the camp in Ramadi, ISIS fighters destroyed the Police Headquarters and mayor’s office here, planted their flag on government buildings and decreed the city to be theirs. Ten years earlier, American forces had captured this city from Qaeda-style insurgents at a considerable cost of American lives.
 
Abu Ghraib: Escapees Fuel Insurgency

ISIS received an influx of recruits after a prison break in July 2013 at the detention center here. The escapees, who were imprisoned by the Maliki government or during the American occupation, are now among ISIS's leaders and foot soldiers. The group also attracts militants from around the world. Its recruits are better paid, better trained and better armed than other rebel groups and even the national armies of Syria and Iraq, according to leaders of rival factions.
Renewed Efforts to Control Anbar
Tensions in Anbar, the Iraqi province at the heart of the Sunni resistance after Saddam Hussein was deposed, were largely contained until about 2012. But the withdrawal of American troops and growing resentment over Shiite political domination gave ISIS — newly strengthened in northeastern Syria — an opening to lead an insurrection. Months before the dramatic fall of Mosul, ISIS had already seized many towns along the Euphrates in Anbar Province. After the fall of Mosul, the group captured more towns and key border posts in the province with little effort.
Syria
Syria
Iraq
Lake Assad
Haditha Dam Lake
Lake Tharthar
Lake Habbaniya
Sarrin
ISIS Control
Ain Issa
ISIS Control
Mouhasan
ISIS Control
Tebni
ISIS Control
Suwar
ISIS Control
Mayadeen
Attacked by ISIS
Ana
ISIS Control
Burwana
Attacked by ISIS
Baghdadi
Hit
Attacked by ISIS
Kubaysa
Habbaniya
Attacked by ISIS
Baghdad

Mahmudiya
Madaen
Musayyib
Baquba
Attacked by ISIS
Dujail
Attacked by ISIS
Balad

Tarmiya

The Tigris
After establishing footholds in Syria and Anbar Province, ISIS turned to northern Iraq. The swift capture of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city and a key political, military and commercial hub, gave ISIS a launching pad for a rapid series of attacks in which its fighters seized towns along the Tigris River heading south to Baghdad.
 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/03/world/middleeast/syria-iraq-isis-rogue-state-along-two-rivers.html?_r=0

Neno
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Re: A Rogue State Along Two Rivers

Post by Neno on Thu 12 Feb 2015, 12:51 pm

Very cool set up at the link better than the post...

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/03/world/middleeast/syria-iraq-isis-rogue-state-along-two-rivers.html?_r=0

    Current date/time is Sun 11 Dec 2016, 7:49 am