President Obama spoke yesterday about the situation in Iraq and the USA’s involvement in fighting the terrorist organization, ISIS. Today, a graphic video was released showing the execution of James Foley, an American journalist who went missing two years ago.
ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is a terrorist organization based in Iraq and Syria that aims to control most of the Muslim-inhabited regions. The group has officially been recognized by major world leaders as a foreign terrorist organization. ISIS is known for its extreme interpretation of the Isalmic faith and Sharia law. It is characterized by its brutal violence against Shia Muslims and Christians. The terrorist group, Al-Qaeda , was associated with the group until February 2014. Reports say the reason for the split was that ISIS is too brutal, even for Al-Qaeda. Reportedly, though, some Al-Queda leaders still are supporting ISIS and are involved in their efforts.
Currently, ISIS controls a fair amount of territory in Iraq and Syria, and they hope to expand. According to many sources, ISIS has been conducting brutal attacks on citizens in Iraq and Syria. Christians, for example, were told to either convert, pay a fine, or leave the area. Many people are trying to leave the area, but it has become difficult with the widespread presence of ISIS.
President Obama authorized airstrikes to assist the refugees to escape peacefully and safely. Further, Thirty-Five strikes (as of August 15) were conducted and aided the Iraqi and Kurdish forces in recapturing a “strategically important dam” (FoxNews). The USA’s goal is to unite the Iraqi army, rebuild their government, and drive ISIS out. The president has stated that he will not put US troops on the ground in Iraq.
We’ll keep you updated as the situation in Iraq progresses.