Civil War in Iraq
You thought the war in Iraq was over right? The United States invaded, shot Saddam Hussein, let the Iraqi people topple his statue, and began voting in a democratic process, right? All of that may be true, but the war is still far from over for the citizens of Iraq. Currently, as of November 2015, ISIS has created a civil war between the citizens of Iraq and the members of the terrorist group. The ISIS attempts to gain areas in the northern end of Iraq led to uprisings by Iraq, involvement by Iran, and also support by countries like Russia. In June of 2014, ISIS had conquered almost ¾ of the Anbar Province, and had intentions to seize Baghdad.
2014: ISIS Gains Ground
For most of 2014, it seemed that ISIS was gaining ground. They experienced tremendous “wins,” including major border checkpoints, cities, and key areas that made it easier for them to travel between their strongholds and continue to grow in numbers, whether by will or by force. However, the attention this garnered from other forces did not bode well for ISIS, and Syria began lining up airstrikes along crucial ISIS holdings, resulting in numerous retreats and deaths of major fighters. By the end of 2014, the U.S., Syria, Iraq, and Russia were all attacking ISIS by air, and France, the UK, Australia, and the U.S. were sending as much humanitarian aid as possible to the people trapped in these ISIS holdings.
2015: ISIS Gets Closer
At the beginning of the New Year, Iraqis won a very large victory: they took back the province of Diyala. However, in July and August, ISIS suicide bombers managed to kill over 200 people in two separate attacks in the major cities of Khan BaniSaad and Baghdad. ISIS continues, as of November 2015, to attempt to gain more ground. However, Iraqi soldiers have managed to take back major highways that fed ISIS strongholds, and are attempting to gain back the city of Sinjar. The death toll continues to mount, topping 36,000 between ISIS members, Iraqi soldiers, and civilians (who are the largest casualty group).
Efforts Around the World
With ISIS attacks continuing throughout the world, most recently in Paris in November 2015, the most focus has been placed on “containing” ISIS to its current areas of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and surrounding areas. Once the problem of widespread reach has been dealt with, the approach to ISIS’s “homelands” can be evaluated. However, there is no telling the damage that can be done if ISIS continues to grow and outside support for Iraq, Iran, and Syria does not. ISIS has become not just an Iraqi problem, but is quickly becoming a threat all over the globe. The threat that ISIS poses to Iraq is indicative of its threat to the rest of the world. If it can overtake major regions of a country who has just experienced war, there is no telling what damage ISIS can do to countries who are least expecting their attacks. Taking out ISIS in areas like Iraq will, many world leaders believe, lead to fewer attacks around the world.