Date: December 8, 2014
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth; Blanchard, Christopher M.; Humud, Carla E.; Margesson, Rhoda & Weed, Matthew C.
Description: This report discusses the problems facing Iraq as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS) gains power in the region. IS is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of northwestern Iraq and northeastern Syria since 2013, threatening the security of both countries and drawing increased attention from the international community. The Islamic State has thrived in the disaffected Sunni Muslim-inhabited areas of Iraq and in the remote provinces of Syria torn by the civil war. The Islamic State's tactics have drawn the ire of the international community, increasing U.S. attention on Iraq's political problems and on the civil war in Syria.
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