Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or just Islamic State (IS)‒ regardless of the name that is used, the organization remains completely the same. This organization has been wreaking havoc and utter destruction in Iraq since the beginning of 2014.
In early February, after months of conflict between Al Qaeda and ISIS, these two groups officially separated. Al Qaeda and ISIS used to be a single group, or rather ISIS was an offshoot of Al Qaeda. ISIS now exists as an autonomous entity, and its goal as an organization is to create a unified Islamic state across Iraq and Syria, hence its name.
Recently, ISIS has been executing their hostages. They have beheaded two US journalists so far, whose names were James Foley and Steven Sotloff. They also recently released a video in which an aid worker from the UK, now identified as David Haines, was beheaded. However, these are not the only executions. They have been killing large numbers of people all over Iraq. According to TheGuardian.com, the UN has released a report saying that ISIS has killed over 5,500 Iraqi civilians in the last six months. They are also responsible for mass destruction of property and religious monuments
One thing that differentiates ISIS from the other terrorist sects is their usage of social media. They post their execution videos on YouTube, and also post status updates on websites like Facebook and Twitter.
In a recently televised address, President Obama said that his goal was to “degrade and destroy ISIS.” He also said that he would try to enlist the help of other countries in the fight against ISIS.
Recently ISIS has been making threats against the US and other countries such as Australia and the UK. These threats seem slightly unrealistic as ISIS, as far as we know, does not yet have the ability to carry out international attacks. President Obama’s plan to combat ISIS may be somewhat vague at the present moment, but he does plan to work with a coalition of other nations to destroy this ruthless organization.