A on the basis of an extremist interpretation of

A new jihadist
era has risen in the wake of the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in
Iraq and Syria. It is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
It has been the known that the Islamic State has declared a long term goal of
establishing an Islamic State or a caliphate on the basis of an extremist
interpretation of sharia. This makes it more than just a terrorist group
despite it being an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq. ISIS has adopted the radical
Islamist ideology of al-Qaeda and also has a centralized command model of the
paramilitary Hezbollah and some tactics from the Taliban. This makes the
Islamic State a hybrid jihadist organization. The group has depended on a
number of strategies to survive and grow. These strategies involve pragmatism
regarding the Syrian regime, controlling and developing territories as a method
of controlling local populations and attracting foreign fighters, the use of
ideology social media as a tool to control populations, recruit fighters, raise
funds and a centralized military strategy.

Since the
insurgence of the Islamic State into Syria in 2013, they have been in an
existential battle with the Sunni extremist group. In the face of all the
strategic tools, the Islamic State unveils itself as the real al-Qaeda and
asserts that it is going to make the al-Qaeda’s ideology of an Islamic State a
reality. This will authenticate their existence and an appeal to donors and

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Even though
ideology is an important feature of the operations of Islamic State, the
group’s strategic objectives are not propelled by ideology, rather it entails
the acquisition of money, resources and power.1 The ability to establish a caliphate in Syria
and Iraq is only the beginning, not the end, for the group. This clue is drawn
from the ISIS’s slogan; “lasting and
expanding”2 (baqiyawa tatamaddad)3. Nonetheless, this does not simply mean that
the caliphate will geographically expand indefinitely beyond physical
boundaries, but to also expand its worldwide influence so that its viability
will be supported. The declaration of the establishment of a caliphate in June
2014 following the Islamic State’s advances in Iraq drew international
intervention in the form of a U.S led coalition to fight against the group. The
expansion and sustainability of the Islamic State have been curtailed by US led
air strikes. However, the intervention efforts have been limited in scope and
face numerous challenges. This is as a result of the fact that these attacks
are carried out taking the political, social and economic components of ISIS’
strategy into perspective.  In the
meantime, the Islamic State is facing quite a number of challenges pressuring
it modify in modus operandi. The militant group is now turning inward based on
their methods of governance and its current strategy to unify members from
diverse ethnic backgrounds under a common leadership. This will create a new
generation of loyalist who will constitute the first indigenous citizens of the
caliphate.  In attempt to do so, ISIS has
now shifted its attention from proactive operations to those that capitalize on
the weaknesses of their enemies.

ISIS’s advances this summer have made Iraq and
Syria part of the same battlefield, erasing the international border and
turning the regional struggles for power into a substantial threat to
international peace and security.4

The weaknesses in
question are the absence of both a lasting solution to sectarian conflicts in
Iraq and a complete solution to the Syrian conflict. So far as these weaknesses
exist, the Islamic state is more likely to continue and expand. The world has
been shocked in recent years by acts of cruelty committed by the Islamic state
(ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. This organization is deeply rooted to the directives
of the Sunni faction of Islam. Their aim is to bring most Muslim inhabited
States – besides Iraq and Syria – under its control. Countries such as Jordan,
Israel, Lebanon, Southern Turkey, Cyprus and Palestine have all been threatened
by ISIS. The organization funds its operations by gaining control of oil fields
in the eastern province of Deir-al-Zour in Iraq.

have also taken control of bank and make a sizeable amount of money. Moreover,
they receive much funding from wealthy donors in predominantly Sunni countries.
It has managed to lure thousands of foreign volunteers across the globe,
including United Kingdom and United States. The organization has embarked on
numerous terrible attacks in order to achieve their political objectives. The
main purpose of this essay, which would be examined subsequently, is to examine
the legal and military actions that can be taken by the international community
to overcome the threat posed by horrible attacks perpetuated by ISIS. However,
the existing norms of Jus ad bellum do
not permit an unlimited usage of military action across national borders at
ISIS strongholds. The good news is that international humanitarian law is
making a law that will allow military action against terrorist groups in State
B by State A when the government of the former is unable or unwilling to avert
its territory being used as a place of launching terrorist attacks. Thus, this
will be known as the ‘unwilling or unable’ paradigm.5

1 UN (United Nations), Report of the Secretary-General on the Threat
Posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to International Peace and Security and the Range of
United Nations Efforts in Support of Member States in Countering the Threat,
Report of the Secretary-General, New York, UN Counter-Terrorism Committee,

2 Ibid

3 Ibid

4 Reuter, C. (2015) “The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal
the Structure of Islamic State”, Spiegel Online International, 8 April 2015


5 Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab
Republic, “They Came to Destroy”: ISIS Crimes

against the Yazidis, UN Human Rights
Council, 15 June 2016