ISIS: Islamic State of Iraq and Syria


On September 12, 2014, President Barrack Obama released this statement concerning ISIS, or ISIL: “[T]his is not and shall not be America’s fight. We will support Iraqi forces as they fight for their own country against these terrorists […] I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.” Obama goes on to say that he promises not to put “Boots on the ground,” in Iraq or Syria. Despite urges from Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Obama will continue to only use air support to assist the Iraqi Rebels.

Over the last month, the President has followed up on his statement. Multiple bombing runs have been made on ISIS targets, sparking anger in the group. In response to the first major U.S. bombing run, ISIS publicly recorded the execution of James Foley, a U.S. journalist captured while in Syria. In the same video, they threatened to execute Steven Sotloff should the U.S. continue. However, since it is a rule of the United Nations not to negotiate with terrorists, the U.S. ignored ISIS, and continued the airstrikes. Then on September 2, 2014, ISIS posted a video of Sotloff’s execution.

The United States have continued to provide air support to the Iraqi rebels, specifically an ISIS target near Baghdad, September 16. This apparently was not an offensive move, as Jim Sciutto of CNN points out, “This was not the beginning of a big offensive near Baghdad […] this was specific events today and specific to that request, to answer Iraqi troops in danger.”

ISIS stands for the Islamic State if Iraq and Syria. ISIS can also be written as ISIL, simply the Islamic state of Iraq and Levant ISIS’s main goal is to establish its own Islamic state in both Iraq and Syria. They hold extremely anti-western beliefs, and support religious violence, punishing those who do not share similar views. Since 2004, they have sought to establish a new caliph, or leader, to rule the Islamic state, one who is a true successor to the prophet Mohammed. Though the destruction of the United States is not ISIS primary objective, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel believes that it is “an imminent threat to every interest we have,” while Daniel Benjamin, former counter – terrorism advisor, believes these talks are just threats, and are all to alarm the public. A mix of the two seems more likely, which somewhat justifies Obama‚Äôs decisions