Is the Islamic State closer to realizing a goal?

Almost a year after Islamic State’s shock capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, the black flags of the jihadis have been raised over Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province to the west of Baghdad, seat of Iraq’s increasingly theoretical central government. Nobody talks of Mosul or recapturing it from Islamic State. Now it is all about the fall of Ramadi, the neighbouring ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in central Syria and beyond – the Libyan city of Sirte, hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The Report Continues by Samia Nakhoul BEIRUT (Reuters)

Nobody talks of Mosul or recapturing it from Islamic State. It is a forgotten city. Now it is all about the fall of Ramadi, the neighbouring ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in central Syria and beyond – the Libyan city of Sirte, hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

To the eyes of many in the region, the real strategic loss behind the IS seizure of two Sunni cities in Iraq and Syria in a week is the evaporation of any Sunni alternative to the jihadis.

Although many leaders dismissed IS as vainglorious when it declared its cross-border caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq last summer, in its cohesion and purpose it is now seen by some – particularly Iraq’s minority Sunnis – as more of a state than the Iraqi government it is fighting.

“Simply put, the Islamic State is, or is on the verge of becoming, what it claims to be: a state,” wrote David Kilcullen who was a key player in the US 2007-08 Iraq troop ‘surge’ and a close observer of the rise of Islamic State.

THERE IS MORE ON THIS STORY HERE:

Islamic State expands its ‘state’ – Yahoo News

 

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