[Ed. – Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham – ISIS – is new lipstick on an old pig.]
The ISIS has had success in regaining control of areas of Iraq that it lost during combined US and Iraqi counterinsurgency operations from 2007 to 2009. A map recently produced by Reuters shows that the ISIS controls villages and towns along the Euphrates River and the border with Syria as well as in the desert in Anbar, in areas south of Baghdad, in the Hamrin Mountains in Diyala and Salahaddin, and in numerous areas in Ninewa.
When the Reuters map is compared with maps produced in 2008 by Multinational Forces – Iraq that show al Qaeda control in Iraq in 2006 at the height of the organization’s strength in the country, and 2008 after the group was driven from many of its sanctuaries, al Qaeda’s resurgence becomes clear.
The ISIS began retaking control of areas in Iraq after the US withdrew military, intelligence, and logistical support from the Iraqi military and intelligence services and abandoned its support of the Awakening in December 2011. The Syrian civil war and a political standoff between Prime Minister Maliki and Sunnis in Anbar have also fueled the resurgence of al Qaeda in Iraq.