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ISIS, an abbreviation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is a Sunni jihadist extremist group rampant in Iraq and Syria. Much is being written and telecasted about ISIS in newspapers and TV channels. As the situation in Iraq continues to worsen with the ISIS already ruling over several cities we take a peek into who are the ISIS and what they are up to.

The origin of this extremist group can be traced back to as long as 1999 in the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad group, a forerunner of Tanzim Qaidat al Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, which is commonly referred to as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). The ISIS group has basically surfaced from the extremist Sunni jihadist in Iraq who was under the banner ”al-Qaeda in Iraq” (AQI). However, ISIS divorced from AQI in February 2014.

Since its inception in the year 2004, the main goal of the ISIS has always centered on the establishment of an Islamic caliphate or an Islamic state spreading across the borders of Iraq and Syria. Today ISIS in its endeavor has created a horrifying picture before the world; that of killings, crucifixions, public executions, and other heinous acts. It is responsible for the attacks on several military and government bodies and the killing of thousands of civilians.

As of September 2014, an estimated number of fighters in Iraq and Syria have increased to 20,000-31,500 respectively, as per the survey of the Central Intelligence Agency. United States along with other Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Arab Emirates, Bahrain have long been fighting against the Islamic state militants in Syria. The US led the air strikes against the Islamic state on August 8. At the end of September 2014, the US undertook around 240 air attacks in Syria and Iraq along with 1,300 missions of tanker refuelling. On the other hand, ISIS' reaction followed through the public execution of US Journalists – James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

The strategic moves of the Unites States failed as ISIS group is spreading its wing to capture and control Kobani, Syria and western Baghdad, Iraq. And, with the successful advancement of the ISIS militants towards Baghdad, the question now prevails 'Will ISIS remain uncurbed?'
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