With the rise of Islamic State being one of the biggest stories of 2014, they came up a lot on this blog. Follow their rise throughout the year here, from the most feared Islamist group in the Middle East to a self-proclaimed caliphate.
Civil War in Iraq – The third Battle of Fallujah? (Jan. 8, 2014)
Before Islamic State (then known as ISIS) exploded across Iraq, it first took the town of Fallujah. My prediction that this would be the start of increased sectarian fighting in Iraq turned out to be an understatement.
Iraq in chaos – Militants on the march (Jun. 11, 2014)
When ISIS seized Mosul, it was the biggest ever achievement by an Islamist group in the region. 8 months later, they’re still there.
Conflict in Iraq – The end of a country (Jun. 15, 2014)
While the Iraqi government and the Kurds have made some gains since June – thanks to the help of Iran and the US – the division of the country I describe here still essentially holds.
Islamic State – The murder of a journalist (Aug. 21, 2014)
Like the rest of the world, I was horrified by the murder of James Foley, and by what it said about the ideology of IS.
Islamic State – Strict beliefs and ambitious goals (Aug. 24, 2014)
Despite our horror at the actions of IS, it’s always worthwhile to explore why they do what they do, and the history that guides them.
Islamic State – How to destroy them (Sep. 14, 2014)
While the airstrikes on IS have had an effect, they have also shown how difficult it will be to remove the Islamist group from power.
Battle for Kobane – Will Turkey rise to the challenge? (Oct. 8, 2014)
The answer was no. While Turkey allowed some Kurdish fighters to cross its territory to the fight, they never got involved. So why did they sit and watch? It turns out they had some good reasons.
The murder of a Jordanian pilot (Feb. 3, 2015)
The murder of Moaz al-Kasasbeh showed yet again the cold ruthless of Islamic State’s campaign of fear – aided by voyeurs sharing their videos on the internet.