Establishing a caliphate hadbeen the goal of the all the jihadist movement.
By declaring that he had actuallycreated a caliphate, he gained a huge upper hand on Al Qaeda in the strugglefor global jihadist supremacy. After declaring caliphate,ISIS succeeded in attracting far more recruits ever than Al Qaeda. This alsohas allowed them to gain following among other foreign terrorist groups, like ISISfranchises in Libya, Egypt’s Sinai desert, and Boko Haram in Nigeria.However in August 2014, ISISmade their first big mistake by invading Kurdistan.Invasion of KurdistanIn August 2014, ISIS invadedIraqi Kurdistan, and quickly advanced to within few kilometres to of thecapital Erbil. They also launched a genocide campaign against a minority groupknown as Yazidi, who are also ethnically Kurdish.This brought Peshmerga intothe war, which then since moved ISIS into a series of defeats. It also drew theUnited States into the war.
President Obama allowed bombingcampaign against ISIS, initially started as a limited intervention to protectAmerican personnels in the capital city of Erbil and stop the slaughter of theYazidis.ISIS progress into Kurdistanwas reversed. Fight back by Kurds, a regrouped Iraqi millitary, Iran backedShia millitias, and US aircrafts, compelled the ISIS to fall back. By early2015, the ISIS began loosing. The Sunni city of Tikrit fell to the Iraqi forcesagain in April.Syria, where the things werea bit better for ISIS than they had in Iraq as the multi-sided civil war didnot threw any reliable force to challenge them. But in mid 2015, Syrian Kurdsstarted threatening ISIS.ISIS had attempted to invadeand conquer the Kurdish territory in Syria and came damn close.
In October2014, ISIS nearly seized Kobane, a Kurdish stronghold on Syria northern borderwith Turkey. But the Kurds held there formonths and in January, with the help of US support and US led air strikes, theypushed ISIS out of Kurdish territories. Then they kept going, and seized ISISterritories elsewhere in Syria. They even advanced to within 30 miles of Raqqa.These Kurdish victoriesshowed that ISIS was fighting up against the limits of their millitarycapability. The group had been fighting too many enemies on too many battlefronts.
Their ability had been limited by coalition airstrikes. Slowly butsteadily, they had started losing ground.Turnaround to International TerrorismOn 13th November,2015, ISIS attacked several locations in Paris that killed more than 150 andwounded nearly 400 people. The group claimed its responsibility and later onFrench govt. investigation proved it.
Paris was not the onlyforeign attack ISIS had launched. Their suicide bombers hit Kuwait, Lebanon,and Saudi Arabia too. They also claimed responsibility for taking down aRussian civilian aircraft in Egypt Sinai desert.The group’s primary focuswas caliphate, but while they were losing it bit by bit they needed to showthat that there victory was inevitable and divinely inspired. So while losingterritories, they needed to show there narrative through other means i.
e.claiming victory over foreign enemies by hitting them at there grounds throughterrorist attacks.Defeat and the currentsituationAlmost four years after ISISdeclaration of caliphate, there vast and ambitious project has been reduced torubble. Around 100,000 fighters have died since 2014, according to US military officials.
The leadership has been shrunked to rumpalthough the so called ‘caliph’ Baghdadi survives. The administration no moreexists. The training camps are vanished. The flow of propaganda instruments inprompting attacks such as those in the UKhas been ceased. In October 2017, US backed Kurdish forcesousted ISIS from Syrian town of Raqqa, which was also their de-facto capital ofterror group ‘caliphate’.
An effort to retake thecity began in early June, in an operation led by the Syrian Democratic Forcesand backed up by coalition air strikes.In November 2017, ISISlast Iraqi hold of Rawa fell. Earlier Coalition forces had already announcedthat ISIS had been wiped out from Syria.