Mapping Al Qaeda's Grand Ambitions In Iraq And Syria

As reported earlier, and as most know by now, as if out of nowhere the al-Qaeda faction Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has, over the past 24 hours, stormed across northern Iraq, taken over key northern cities and even taken control over countless modern US weapons and military equipment including Humvees and Blackhawk helicopters. As we further reported, after looting nearly half a billion from the Mosul central bank, ISIS is also the "world's richest terror force." So weapons? Check. Money? Check.

What happens now?

Well, first, courtesy of the NYT, here is a map of all the territories that ISIS has already managed to gain control over.

And next?

This map, from the Institute for the Study of War explains clearly what ISIS' ambitions in the middle east are: creating a grand nation-state that basically controls virtually all of Syria and most of Iraq (including an unknown amount of petroleum deposits and refineries, for those wondering why crude is higher today).


Want to know more? Then the following presentation "The Fall Of Mosul To The Islamic State of Iraq And Al-Shram" should hopefully hold some answers.