Islamic State of Iraq and Syria: How it all started?


The story depicts the beginning and demolition of the richest and more powerful organization ever to exist while pondering about ISIS(Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), the first thing comes to our mind is that ‘How it emerged?’ and ‘What was their aim?’

The aim of ISIS:

To fabricate an Islamic state called a caliphate across Iraq, Syria, and beyond.

The Emergence of ISIS:

Active: 1999

Founder: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi


The foundation took place after the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, he formed his own group, Jamaat-al-tawahid wal-jihad (Organisation of monotheism and jihad). For the few years, Zarqawi group overshadowed by Al-Qaeda, but this was the group that later called as ISIS.

March 2003:

The US-led its invasion of Iraq. The American led the war, by destroying Islamic state. Foreign fighters began moving in Iraq assisted by Syrian regime which sought to bog down the US and Zarqawi’s group were among them. Zarqawni’s group fought in Iraq, that drew the attention of Al-Qaeda’s.


Zarqawi pledged loyalty to Al-Qaeda, for which he would receive access to funds and fighters. The group was renamed Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and became leading Sunni Insurgent group.


Al-Qaeda in Iraq tries to ignite a sectarian war against the majority Shia community. Al-Qaeda didn’t fight the Americans, it attacked fellow Iraqis, they forced the Sunni to rally behind AQI. It also helped spark a civil war in Iraq between Sunni and Shia. But these methods were too vicious even for Al-Qaeda which warned Zarqawi to cool it. Zarqawi was killed in 2006 by US airstrike and the US increased troops presence in Iraq that year and defeated Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

By 2009, almost all of AQI’s fighters were dead or in prison.

June 7, 2006:

Zarqawi’s was killed in a U.S strike. Abu Ayyub al-Masari was known as Abu hamaza al- Muhajer, takes his place as a leader of AQI.

October 6, 2006:

AQI leader Abu Ayyub al-Masari announces the creation of Islamic state of Iraq (ISI) and establishes Abu Omar al-Baghdadi as its leader.

April 2010:

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became the leader of ISI after Abu Ayyub al-Masari WAS KILLED IN A JOINT US-Iraqi operation.

April 2013:

ISIS declares its absorption of Al-Qaeda backed militant group in Syria, Jabhat-al-Nusra, also known as al-Nusra front.

Al-Baghdadi says that his group will now be known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIS).

Al-Nusra front leader Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani rejects isis’s attempt to merge with the group.

Jan 2014:

ISIS takes control of Falluja.

Feb 3, 2014:

Al-Qaeda renounces tries on ISIS after months of infighting between al-Nusra front and ISIS.

June 29, 2014:

Isis announces the creation of a Caliphate(Islamic state) that erases all state borders, making Al-Baghdadi the self-declared authority over the world’s estimated 1.5 billion Muslims and changed its name to ISIS.

June 30, 2014:

The Pentagon announces that US is sending an additional 300 troops to Iraq, bringing the total US forces in Iraq to nearly 800. Troops and military advisers are sent to Iraq to support Iraqi security forces and help protect US Embassy and airport in Baghdad.

July 2014:

ISIS takes control of Syria’s largest oilfields and seizes gas fields in the home province, storming the facility and killing dozens of workers of Syrian towns. In Mosul, they blow up Janah’s tomb, a holy site dating back to the 8th century BC.

August 8, 2014:

Two US f/a-18 jet fighters bomb ISIS artillery units in Iraq. President Barack Obama has authorized “targeted airstrikes” if needed to protect our personnel from fighters with ISIS.

September 23, 2014:

The United States carries out airstrikes against ISIS.

November 3, 2014:

ISIS militant has killed 322 members of Abu Mina tribe in a recent series of executions.

January 7, 2015:

Isis has released about 250 Yazidis.

January 22, 2015:

U.S diplomatic officials say that coalition air strikes have killed an estimated 6000 ISIS fighters.

February 5, 2015:

Jordanian fighter jets carry out air strikes over Syrian reportedly hitting ISIS training centers and arms.

 May 21, 2015:

ISIS takes control of the Palmyra, 2000-year-old city in the Syrian desert.

June 19, 2015:

ISIS is becoming a greater threat than Al-Qaeda.

November 13, 2015:

ISIS suicide bombers hit 6 locations around Paris killing at least 129 people and wondering hundreds.

February 21-March 22, 2016:

ISIS attacks in homes and southern Damascus and attacks on airport and subway station in Brussels, Belgium.

September 16, 2016:

U.S strikes targeted and killed Wael Adel Salman.

October 17, 2016:

Iraqi pm Haider al-Abadi makes a televised statement announcing the start of the mission to take the key city of Mosul and the last remaining ISIS stronghold.

ISIS goes global: 143 attacks in 29 countries have killed 2043.

The Medium of earnings:

ISIS’s strategy for revenue includes oil production, smuggling, taxes, and ransoms from kidnappings, selling stolen artifacts, extortion and controlling crops.

Relation Between Al Qaeda and ISIS:

ISI(Later called as ISIS) was established in 2004 by Ayman Al Zawahiri in 2004 as a branch of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Qaeda and ISI both the group work together for several years. Due to the internal disagreements caused the split of both the groups. ISI cut off the ties with Al-Qaeda and Ayman Al Zawahiri. ISI changed its name to ISIS( the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria).

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