Magazine article New Internationalist

The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising

Article excerpt

The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising by Patrick Cockburn (O/R Books, ISBN 978 1 939293 59 6)

The capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul by forces loyal to ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) on 10 June 2014 and the declaration of a caliphate spanning the Iraqi-Syrian border took many Middle East commentators and journalists by surprise. Success on such a scale for a jihadist group, viciously sectarian and avowedly anti- Western eclipsed anything the various al-Qaeda fragments were capable of. It also cut across the prevailing Western narrative of populist, mainly secular uprisings against the regimes in Libya and Syria and an uneasy but workable tripartite Shia-Sunni-Kurd concordat in Iraq.

The fall of Mosul is merely one in a calamitous series of events to highlight the Western powers' misreading of the Middle East situation and their bungled interventions in the region. …

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