Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The New Yorker

The Ignominious End of the ISIS Caliphate
By Robin Wright 
History will record that the Islamic State caliphate—a bizarre pseudo-state founded on illusory goals, created by a global horde of jihadis, and enforced with perverted viciousness—survived for three years, three months and some eighteen days. The fall of Raqqa, the nominal isis capital, was proclaimed on Tuesday by the U.S.-backed militia that spearheaded the offensive, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab militias advised by U.S. Special Forces. Mopping-up operations were still going on (especially around the Raqqa stadium, which isis fighters had converted into an arms depot and prison), but the liberation of Raqqa marked the symbolic demise of the Islamic State’s rule.
“How far they’ve fallen. It’s a striking contrast to three years ago, when they planted the flag, in the summer of 2014, and proclaimed God’s kingdom on Earth had come again—and now they’ve evaporated,” Will McCants, the author of the best-selling book "The ISIS Apocalypse: the History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic States," told me.
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