The post The rise and fall of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
By the time al-Baghdadi announced a merger (which was in effect a takeover) creating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in April 2013, many of Jabhat al-Nusra's key commanders and members, especially among foreign fighters, had pledged loyalty to him.
Attempts to restrain the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria failed.
When al-Zawahiri had disavowed the Islamic State in February 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group was embattled across Syria.
Writing in Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, he argued for cooperation with Iran in confronting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
: "If we have to work with Iran to defeat Islamic State, so be it."
The governments in both Baghdad and Damascus are keenly aware of the geographic distribution of the fighters in the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
. These fighters' movements across the border, however, are outside of both governments' control -- especially in the rugged border strip south of Mosul and north of the border town of Al-Qaim on the Euphrates, as well as in the border region between the Al-Walid crossing near Rutba (300 kilometers west of Ramadi) stretching 140 kilometers north to the area around the phosphate mines.
The forces fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
now expect a new phase of guerrilla warfare, a tactic the militants have already shown themselves capable of.
The Islamic State's slowing momentum, its inability to expand, and the differences between the Iraqi/Syrian and Libyan landscape all beg the question of just how feasible it would be for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to shift to Libya.
Others like the Islamic State were mash-ups of local jihadi groups and ideologues and fighters tied to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's first forays into Libya came shortly after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, announced the formation of the group.
This is in marked contrast to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Not only are there more foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, but they have distinctly different backgrounds.
Not only does the Islamic State in Libya have significantly fewer fighters than the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria but the Islamic State in Libya controls less territory than the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
This is in comparison with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which at its peak controlled as much as 35,000 square miles, exerting uncontested authority over roughly 12,000 square miles.