Formed from a collection of rag-tag forces, ISIS went on to make considerable gains in both Iraq and Syria before a coalition forced its retreat.
ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - also Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant = ISIL) took regional military observers and governments by surprise when it worked its way from individual terrorist groups into a single, effective fighting force. From there, the group went on to capture swaths of territory throughout Iraq and Syria, attempting to recreate an Islamic kingdom with old world ideals. Iraqi and Syrian government forces initially accomplished little to stem the tide and this was worsened by the vacuum left by American forces having left Iraq.
While ISIS lacked any sort of traditional air power, it laid claim to stocks Iraqi-owned Soviet-, Chinese-, and American-originated equipment. The result was a ragtag group of fighters with an equally rag-tag collection of weapons offering tactical flexibility against better organized foes. Despite coalition air strikes against positions and money-making sources, ISIS remained a threat to the stability of the region with its war against the West threatening to pull even more players into it before the end.
In 2017, the tide turned and Syrian and Iraqi forces, heavily backed by foreign coalition sponsors, forced the enemy on the retreat leaving remaining ISIS components to resort to a whole new level of desperation (human shields, mass executions).
Flag images indicative of country of origin. The entries displayed below have been compiled by way of identification from available ISIS-related imagery / video.
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