Introduction to How the War on ISIS changed IL

In 2014, a militant group calling itself the Islamic State (ISIS)1 rapidly took over more than thirty percent of the territory of Syria and Iraq. In the process, it captured billions of dollars worth of oil fields and refineries, bank assets and antiquities, tanks and armaments, and became one of the greatest threats to peace and security in the Middle East.3 In an effort to “degrade and defeat” ISIS, beginning in August 2014 the United States, assisted by a handful of other Western and Arab countries, launched thousands of bombing sorties and cruise missile attacks against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. Read more