The Syrian Civil War Cont.

Well, now that we got the sides over with let’s move on to how.

How exactly did ISIS form? Long story: During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the U.S. decided to arm guerilla fighters against the Soviets. Those fighters were called the Mujahideen. They came from the central parts of the Middle East. There were two people that were in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The two never along.

Once the USSR pulled out of Afghanistan and the U.S. had funded them and gave them weapons, the Mujahideen fighters went back into the central are of the Middle East. Both Zarqawi and Bin Laden make their own militant groups. Bin laden forms a network with the fighters. Zarqawi’s group fizzes out.

Both men return to Afghanistan while the Taliban ruled. In 2001 September 11, Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda attacks the U.S.A. with planes from his base in Afghanistan. The U.S. therefore invades Afghanistan because of the Taliban rule and to capture and kill Bin Laden. Laden flees to Pakistan (and is later killed in 2011). Zarqawi flees to a corner in Iraq.

In 2003 a big decision came from the United States. They invaded the dictatorship of Iraq under the rule of Saddam Hussein. (I think I will make a different post(s) about that) The U.S. disbanded the Iraqi military and jobless and angry soldiers join the Sunni Insurgency. Seeing a repeat of the Afghan invasion by the Soviets, more Sunni muslims join the group, including Zarqawi. This sparks a civil war in Iraq. Zarqawi specifically targets Shia muslims. Al-Qaeda weaker at the moment, decides to try to make an alliance with Zarqawi’s group. The group is now called AQI, or Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Iraqi Sunnis rise up against Zarqawi and is killed by an American airstrike.

In 2011, the Arab Spring spreads across the Middle East, and Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad strikes back at protesters which become the rebels in the newly started civil war. Assad is worried that nations will intervene so he releases Jihadists in Syrian provinces making it harder for other countries to back. After the seemingly stable government, the U.S. pulls out of Iraq, which creates a power vacuum.

The remains of Zarqawi’s group is still allied with al-Qaeda, but is now named the Islamic State in Iraq, which is now ruled by religious scholar Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (I know, so many ‘al’s). In 2012, Baghdadi sends a deputy named Jabhat al-Nusra to create another al-Qaeda branch. Baghdadi then attacks prisons across Iraq, releasing Jihadist prisoners and recruits new Jihadists making ISI stronger. In 2013, Baghdadi announced that he is taking control of all al-Qaeda allied groups in Iraq and Syria making ISI become the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria hence the name ISIS. Al-Qaeda rejects the attempt to get acquire more power and exiles in 2014.

ISIS grows in Syria and Assad does not put up to the group as much, as he knows that it will make international powers focus on ISIS and not on him and it divides his enemies.

With ISIS growing immensely powerful, they invade more parts of weakened Iraq, particularly in the northern areas. Sunnis were tired of the Shia and authoritarian government, and they welcome or are ok with ISIS taking over. ISIS had 2/3 of the Iraq and a large part of Syria.

The goal of ISIS is to revive the Caliphate and become a global empire. ISIS has also launched terror attacks across the world in an effort to scare strong nations. Many people are joining, but ISIS is slowly dwindling down. Even though ISIS may be defeated, it may take decades to rid the Middle East of corruption and conflict. The power vacuum will be large and the effect of ISIS would still be there and there would be no way to fully crack down on rebels or militant groups and people would still have wars. It may never recover.

Thank you for reading!

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, and my understanding.

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