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ISIS and the Islamic State

            ISIS is an Islamic extremist group controlling territory in Iraq and Syria, with limited territorial control in Libya and Nigeria. The group also operates or has affiliates in many other parts of the world, including Southeast Asia. The following Essay will look at where do they come from, where they are getting their support, the destruction of ancient artifacts and buildings, and are they a threat outside of Iraq & Syria. Many of ISIS fighters come from the ranks of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein. Several of Baghdadi's lieutenants were officers and intelligence officials in the party. As of early 2015, of ISIS fighters are made up of foreigners. A UN report estimated a total of 15,000 fighters from over 80 countries in ISIS's ranks as of November 2014. US intelligence estimated an increase to around 20,000 foreign fighters in February 2015, including 3,400 from Western countries. .
             There are allegations of support from countries in Southwest Asia. The two major countries are Turkey and Qatari. Turkey has been further criticized for allowing individuals from outside the region to enter its territory and join ISIS in Syria. With many Islamist fighters passing through Turkey to fight in Syria, Turkey has been accused of becoming a transit country for such fighters and has been labelled the "Gateway to Jihad". Turkish border patrol officers are reported to have deliberately overlooked those entering Syria, upon payment of a small bribe. A report by Sky News exposed documents showing that passports of foreign Islamists wanting to join ISIS by crossing into Syria had been stamped by the Turkish government. An ISIS commander stated that "most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies", adding that ISIS fighters received treatment in Turkish hospitals.
             The State of Qatar has long been accused of acting as a conduit for the flow of funds to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

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