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Thursday, March 10, 2016



Zarqawi, the Progenitor of ISIS.

1999: Jordanian Sunni militant Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi flees his country after a failed hotel bombing and moves his group, known then as Tawhid and Jihad, to Afghanistan.

Syrian forerunners to Al Nusra.

2000 -Syrian Jihadists fighting alongside Al Qaeda leader Zarqawi in Herat, Afghanistan.

2002- Al Qaeda operative Musab al Zarqawi arrives in Iraq and founds Hai al Jamià Baghdad. Syrians who had been with Zarqawi in Herat, Afghanistan are sent to build network branches in Syria and Lebanon. Zarqawi would later exercise control from Iraq.

Al Nusra and Al Qaeda in Iraq.

 2003- US Invasion of Iraq: "The link between al-Nusra and the AQI is logical and should not be surprising. Al-Nusra is formed of fighters who took part in the post-2003 armed campaign against US forces in Iraq, jihadists who essentially crossed into Iraq from Syria to commit terrorist atrocities against US and Iraqi targets. Most of AQI's (Al Qaeda in Iraq) fighters were foreign jihadists from neighbouring countries, in particular Syria. Al-Nusra's leader, Jawlani, has himself acknowledged that he fought in Iraq alongside AQI."-, April, 2013.

Syria becomes the pipeline for sending jihadists into Iraq for the Zarqawi network, with safe houses kept by Syrian jihadists.

August- Embryonic Al Qaeda in Iraq begins a campaign of suicide bombing.

Abu Musab al Zarqawi prepares to lead Al Qaeda in Iraq.

2004- Feb 9- US discovers plot for Al Qaeda entry into Iraq by Abu Musab al Zarqawi and plans to turn Sunni and Shia against one another.

2004: April  Zarqawi renames his group al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), pledges allegiance to Osama bin Laden, and steps up a deadly campaign against U.S. and Iraqi targets. AQI’s ranks swell as Arab jihadists enter the country to fight against the U.S., and the group also becomes notorious for abducting foreigners and filming their execution.

Zarqawi's Allegiance to Bin laden.

2004 -Oct- Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, leader of "Monotheism and Jihad" swears allegiance to Osama Bin Laden.

-2005- Abu Musab al-Sur, noted jihadi theorist followed by Al Nusra-  " al-Suri was arrested in Pakistan (2005), but for some reason was released and handed over to Syria when the rebel uprising began (2011). It is believed that he freely resides somewhere within Syria’s borders and his teachings are heavily influencing the strategies of the Al Nusra Front".- SOFREP, March 24, 2013.

-Zaraqawi's Al Qaeda in Iraq becomes the Mujahedeen Shura Council after various armed factions are integrated.

2005: Senior AQI figure Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Abu Du’a) – later described by Iraqi law enforcement as an Islamic law PhD, and the group’s “spiritual leader” during this period – is arrested and held at the U.S. military-run Camp Bucca in southern Iraq. (Reports differ on whether he was held for one, four or five years, and details of his release remain hazy.)

-violence escalates in Iraq, some of it sectarian, most of it still involving the US military campaign against allied Sunni, Baathist and Al Qaeda militants.

Zarqawi killed in targeted US air attack near Baghdad.

2006- June 7- Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Al Zarqawi is killed in a targeted US air strike northeast of Baghdad.

After Zarqawi’s death in 2006, ISI was almost destroyed by US forces and Sunni tribes revolting against its brutal violence. To save themselves, Raheem said, ISI’s inner circle decided that the group needed to broaden its ranks: revolutionary Islamist credentials were no longer essential – if you could recite a few lines of the Qur’an and grow a beard, you could sign up. The former Ba’athists, who had run Iraq for decades, were invaluable new recruits. (the Guardian)

ISI before ISIS.

Al Zawi heads Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Oct. 2006: AQI renames itself Islamic State of Iraq, and its leader is identified as Hamid Dawud al-Zawi (aka Abu-Omar al-Baghdadi), an Iraqi.

2006- Oct 6- rhe Islamic State Of Iraq (ISI) founded as an umbrella group for Sunni militant organizations including Al Qaeda. After the death of Zarqawi, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir and Hamid Dawud al-Zawi (AKA Abu Omar al-Baghdadi) take the lead of Al Qaeda in Iraq. 

-"Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, to this day considered by ISIS as one of its founding fathers, was an Al-Qaeda operative of Egyptian origin, born in 1968, and was close to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In 1982 he joined the Egyptian jihadi organization headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri and was sentenced to death by Egypt in 1994 (apparently in absentia). Between 2001 and 2002 he underwent training in Afghanistan where he met Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He specialized in preparing IEDs used in Afghanistan and Iraq...: -Crethiplethi-


2007-  Syrian government cracks down on the late Zarqawi`s Syrian jihadists and safe houses. The fighters leave Syria for refuge in Iraq.

Iraq US troop surge against Al Qaeda.

2007: Anbar-based tribal “awakening” campaign against ISI (AQI) and other militants and “surge” of troop reinforcements sent in by President Bush helps to stem the tide of violence, marking a turning point in the Iraq conflict.-U.S. General Petraeus adopts sophisticated, modern counterinsurgency methods against Sunni insurgents as part of the troop surge. US marines make tactical alliances with Sunni Sheikhs and other former nsurgents in Anbar province who are tired of al Qaeda's excesses and violations of Islam. The Anbar Salvation Front becomes the first of several local Sunni paramilitary organizations to aly itself with the U.S..

2008- having alienated Sunnis in Iraq and driven their fighters into the arms of the Americans, Al Qaeda changes its strategy and rhetoric to attract local support.  Al Nusra's local effectiveness in Syria is an indirect result.

-Oct 5- Abu Qaswarah, second in command of  ISI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) is killed by US military in Mosul.

2009- December-  the Islamic State of Iraq, sometimes called an al Qaeda franchise, claims responsibility for a mass of bombings in Baghdad killing 127, as well as other killings in August and October killing 240.

2010- April 18- leader of ISI or Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Zawi or Abu Omar al Baghdadi, killed outside Tikrit. Al-Badri, viewed as secretive and ambitious, is promoted to the leadership.

May 16, 2010-Al Badri close to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the founder of the Islamic State of Iraq  succeeds him as emir of ISI after Omar’s death.

"Since its effective creation in 2003, under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, ISI had been happy to use al-Qaida’s brand name and its money, but often ignored pleas for closer communication with central command – even when they came from Bin Laden himself. In 2010, they crossed a line: ISI appointed a new leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, without prior approval from al-Qaida, whose senior leaders knew almost nothing about the man – where he had come from, his military experience, whether he could be trusted."

Syria- the Al Nusra Front- Independant from Al Qaeda.

Aug. 2011: Al Qaeda in Iraq leader  Al-Badri threatens on an AQI website to carry out 100 attacks across Iraq to avenge the death of bin Laden three months earlier.

Oct. 2011: State Department lists al-Badri as a specially designated global terrorist, offers a $10 million reward for information leading to his location.

 2011- Syrian Jihadists begin to return from Iraq for the Syrian uprising. Some form the 'Al Nusra Front.'  "By this time, ISI had been pushed to the brink of collapse by US and Iraqi forces – but the Syrian civil war gave the group a chance to rebuild. As the conflict began to intensify, Baghdadi quietly dispatched one of his junior officers, Abu Muhammad al-Joulani, across the border in late 2011 to take advantage of the chaos. Equipped with funds, weapons, and some of ISI’s best soldiers, Joulani’s group – which would soon be known as the Nusra Front – quickly became the most formidable fighting force in Syria."

Oct- in Homs and Rif Dimashq jihadists discuss Al Nusra's founding and objectives. . 'Al Nusra' means "The Support Front for the People of the Levant [Greater Syria]" At its founding, it had no affiliation with Al Qaeda.

2011- Dec.- veteran jihadists of deceased Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, leave Iraq, crossing the border to Syria to join in the Arab Spring rebellion against the Assad regime. Jabhat Al Nusra (JN) claims to fight on behalf of the Syria's increasingly oppressed Sunni majority and against Syria's ruling Shia Alawite sect and its allies which include Shia Iran and the Shia Hezbollah organization and militia in Lebanon.

Dec. 23- suicide car bombs kill 44 in Damascus. Al Nusra claims responsibility.

2012- -in late January, ``the jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra li Ahl Ash-Sham, or the Support Front for the People of Syria, announced its formation and goal to bring down the regime of President Bashar Assad.`` -TIME.

Syria: Al Nusra (JN).

2102- Jan- al Nusra meetings continue in Rif Damashq and Homs.

2012- Jan 6- Al Nusra suicide bombing carried out by Abu al-Baraa al-Shami in Midan District of Damascus kills 26.

2012- Jan 23- In its inaugural video Al Nusra claims an attack on a government  security installation in Idlib. "We are Syrian mujahideen, back from various jihad fronts to restore God's rule on the Earth and avenge the Syrians' violated honour and spilled blood," a masked man declared in the video. (BBC)
 AQI leader al Badri helps to establish al Nusra.

2012: Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Al-Badri starts focusing attention on the jihad against President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, where he reportedly helps to establish an al-Qaeda affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, under the leadership of a former Zarqawi deputy. 

2012- March 17- two car bombs in Damasucs kill 27.

2012- March-April- JN expands after many leading jihadists from Lebanese Fatah al-Islam and Palestinian groups joined the leadership and were able to secure sponsorship of key jihadi ideologues including Sheikh Abu al-Mundhir al-Shinqiti, Sheikh Abu Muhammad. JN may be responsible for bombings carried out on this date.

2012- May 29- On 29 May 2012, a mass execution was discovered near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor. The unidentified corpses of 13 government soldiers had been discovered shot to death execution-style. JN (Al Nusra) later claimed responsibility.

2012- June 17-  Walid Ahmad al-Ayesh, described by Syrian authorities as the "right hand" of the Al-Nusra Front, was killed when Syrian authorities discovered his hiding place. He was reportedly responsible for the making of car bombs that were used to attack Damascus in the previous months. (Wikipedia)

2012- June 27-  JN blows up a pro-government TV station in the town of Drousha, just south of the capital Damascus.

2012- July-  al-Baghdadi released an audio statement online announcing that the group was returning to former strongholds from which US troops and the Sons of Iraq had driven them in 2007 and 2008. He also declared the start of a new offensive in Iraq called Breaking the Walls, aimed at freeing members of the group held in Iraqi prisons. Violence in Iraq had begun to escalate in June 2012, primarily with AQI's car bomb attacks, and by July 2013, monthly fatalities exceeded 1,000 for the first time since April 2008. (Wikipedia)

Al Nusra in Syria.
2012- July 15 (circa)  JN executes popular TV news presenter Mohammed al-Saeed

2012- August 12-  a JN leader, Wael Mohammad al-Majdalawi, killed in a government operation in Damascus.

Progress of Al Nusra. 

-JN seized three army checkpoints around Saraqeb at the end of October 2012, forcing the Syrian Army to withdraw from the area the next day. In the battle, 28 Syrian soldiers were killed as well as five Nusra fighters. Some of the captured soldiers were summarily executed after being called "Assad dogs". (Wikipedia)

2012- early November- car bomb kills 2 in a rural development center in Sahl al-Ghab in Hama.
 -Islamist militias in Aleppo, including the Al-Nusra and Al-Tawhid groups refuse to join the Coalition of opposition groups denouncing it as a "conspiracy"
-suicide bombing in Mezzeh neighbourhood of Damascus kills 11 people.

-by the end of 2012- Al Nusra units have become the shock troops of the armed Syrian opposition, the best armed, funded, trained and disciplined of all the rebel groups, Al Nusra can turn the tide wherever rebel lines run into trouble.

 Dec. 11: The Obama administration declares Al Nusra with alleged ties to al-Qaida as a terrorist organization. A group of 29 opposition groups, including both fighting units and civilian organizations signed an online petition calling for demonstrations in its support. 

2012- Dec. -US lists al-Nusra as a terrorist organisation, A group of 29 opposition groups, including both fighting units and civilian organisations signed an online petition calling for demonstrations in its support. 

2012- Dec. Al Nusra reported to have entered Lebanon: "Senior Lebanese security officials have confirmed that there has been a noticeable increase in jihadist elements associated with al-Qaeda within Lebanon. This increase is naturally linked to armed elements in Syria and the stated and covert positions taken by some Lebanese political forces towards the conflict in Damascus. However, the same security apparatus has revealed in an exclusive interview that their investigations have determined that the most recent statement made by Al Nusra was authored in north Lebanon. The email address responsible for posting the statement on the internet was traced to Tripoli, the capital of the North Governorate and close to the Syrian border." Al-Monitor, Dec. 24, 2102.

2012- Dec. 23- JN declares "no-fly-zone" over Aleppo, using 23 mm and 57 mm anti-aircraft guns.

Syria: Al Nusra

2013- January- JN takes over the distribution of flour in Aleppo in the wake of the hoarding and sale of flour by the Syrian Free Army.  "The Nusra Front is outside the FSA and has a reputation for discipline and honesty." BBC.

2013- February- Al Nusra fighters were involved in fighting in Safira with regime reinforcements, preventing these forces from reaching their destination of the city of Aleppo. (Al Jazeera)

"Danish reports say at least 30 Danish Muslims have gone to fight with al Nusra in Syria. Senior European intelligence officials have told me that there is a wave of angry young Muslim men from all across Western Europe going to Syria to join al Qaeda and fight Assad." The Daily Beast, Feb 23, 2013.

 -As of early 2013 al-Nusra is estimated to have around 5000 members. (Wikipedia) 

2013- March- JN has claimed responsibility for 57 of the 69 suicide attacks in Syria during the conflict. (Wikipedia).

2013- March 13- Anti-regime activists took to the streets of rebel-held Mayadeen in eastern Syria on Wednesday for a third straight day to demand that jihadist Al-Nusra Front fighters leave the town.

March, 2013- Jihadists rebels control large parts of the three provinces that make up northeastern Syria and are working to install the foundations for an Islamic state.Extremist rebels — mostly from large armed groups Ahrar al Sham and Jabhat al Nusra took the provincial capital of Raqqa, Syria’s sixth largest city and the first to fall into rebel hands. 

2013- March -Fighters with ISI and the Nusra Front enter the north-eastern city of Raqqa.

Al Zawahiri  Defends al Qaeda's Al Nusra from claims of merger  by ISIS.

2013 April- Baghdadi declares ISI has absorbed the Nusra Front to form a larger entity called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, operating across Iraq and Syria. The Nusra Front's Joulani denies it has accepted the merger, sparking a leadership rift within al-Qaeda.

2013, April 9- Al Nusra's "Joulani was such a powerful commander in his own right that Baghdadi feared he was on the verge of obtaining Zawahiri’s support to elevate himself as the leader of an independent al-Qaida branch in Syria. On 8 April 2013, Baghdadi launched a pre-emptive strike – whose consequences would rip apart the banner of unity that had long presided over the jihadi movement. In an audio recording released online, Baghdadi declared that the Nusra Front and ISI would officially become one organisation. Nusra’s battle-stained banners, which hung over their newly captured headquarters in Syrian cities such as Raqqa, Aleppo and Homs would be replaced. The merged organisation would be called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or more simply Isis. The rebrand was effective immediately. Two days later, Joulani replied with his own audio message. He rejected Baghdadi’s “invitation” to merge – and pledged an oath of loyalty directly to Zawahiri, appealing to the “sheikh of jihad” to resolve the dispute."

Within 24 hours, Zawahiri dispatched a private message urging calm. He said he wanted both commanders to send him representations before he would rule on this spat, which had, thanks to the internet, become embarrassingly public. Baghdadi made it clear that he was not willing to compromise: in a personal message, he warned Zawahiri that any hint of support for the “traitor” would have “no cure except the spilling of more blood”.

May, 2013- Al Qaeda's Zawahiri orders Baghdadi to restrict operations to Iraq.

May 2013:  Al  Qaeda in Iraq leader Al-Badri declares merger of AQI and al-Nusra under the name Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or alternatively, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The perceived power grab is rejected by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who declares that al-Nusra is the only al-Qaeda affiliate engaged in the anti-Assad campaign. Al-Badri ignores al-Zawahiri’s instructions to focus on Iraq, and instead continues operations in both countries.

"On 23 May, Zawahiri delivered his verdict: Isis, which had been created without prior approval, would have to be “dissolved”; Baghdadi was ordered to restrict his operations to Iraq. Meanwhile, his former junior, Joulani, would become the leader of al-Qaida’s official branch in Syria. Both men, Zawahiri added, had a year to prove themselves, after which al-Qaida central would decide on what measures to take next. Like any suspended sentence, it was both an offer of redemption and a threat: Baghdadi could prosper by playing nicely within the new rules, or lose his position within al-Qaida entirely. Finally, to ensure his accord was adhered to peacefully, Zawahiri dispatched an emissary, Abu Khalid al-Suri, in whom he vested the power to resolve any further disputes."

-One former senior member of ISI who did not want to be named told the Guardian that Baghdadi was incensed by Zawahiri’s letter: he was shocked to be treated as an equal to Joulani and ordered to stay out of the Syrian conflict into which he had invested so much. According to Maqdisi, Baghdadi contemptuously dismissed Zawahiri’s envoy. “Suri told Baghdadi, if you stick to these points and you go back to Iraq, I will not make this order public,” Maqdisi said. “Instead, Isis refused the orders, and then started attacking Zawahiri – saying, ‘Al-Qaida is gone, it’s burned out.’”

Aharar Al Sham Distances itself from Al Nusra; Al Nusra Splits.

From The Economist: "Hitherto the most prominent of the extreme Islamist groups has been Jabhat al-Nusra, which may have 7,000 or so fighters. But recently it has been bogged down in a power struggle with al-Qaeda in Iraq, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. After Jabhat al-Nusra’s leaders, led by Abu Muhammad al-Golani, refused to submit to his rule, the group split: a more extreme branch merged with the Iraqi brethren, forming the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. It has recently clashed with other Syrian groups, something Ahrar al-Sham has so far avoided. As Jabhat al-Nusra’s clout has weakened, Ahrar al-Sham’s has grown stronger." (July 20, 2013)

ISIS strengthened with jailbreak.

July, 2013- The new joint Syrian-Iraqi al-Qaeda offshoot, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al Shams (ISIS), gains a major coup when it breaks nearly 500 fellow militants from Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad. That ISIS can break its way into what is supposedly the most secure jail in the country shows how well-organised it has become. Many escapees rejoin ISIS's ranks.

2013- July Ahrar Al Sham (ISIS) now numbers about 15,000, the largest Jihadist umbrella group in Iraq. Some Ahrar al-Sham units that have been involved in heavy fighting include the Qawafel al-Shuhada and Ansar al-Haqq Brigades (both in Khan Sheikhoun, Idleb Province), the al-Tawhid wal-Iman Brigade (Maarrat al-Noum an, Idleb Province), the Shahba Brigade (Aleppo City), the Hassane bin Thabet Brigade (Darat Ezza, Aleppo Province), and the Salahaddin and Abul-Fida Brigades (both in Hama City) (Wikipedia)

2013- Dec. ISIS captures a member of the Islamic Front -accusing him of espionage- and tortures and murders him. "Within days, Syria’s major rebel groups – including Nusra, the country’s al-Qaida affiliate – banded together to declare war on Isis. Thousands of militants were killed over the first few months of 2014, as battles raged between Isis and the other rebel factions, with senior commanders on both sides kidnapped, tortured and murdered. As their positions were overrun, Isis was forced to retreat from western Syria. It began consolidating its control over the east, the area closest to Iraq, and the location of many of Syria’s oil fields. There, Nusra and Isis fought viciously, in and around the city of Raqqa and along the banks of the Euphrates."

War Between ISIS and Al Nusra

Winter/spring 2014: ISIS/ISIL battles al-Nusra and other rebel groups for control of territory across northern Syria. Thousands die in this conflict within the wider Syrian civil war. The State Department says the group likely makes up “a significant portion of the estimated 26,000 violent extremist fighters in Syria. 


Jan. 2014- ISIS sends gunmen into the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, west of Baghdad. The Iraqi army surrounds both cities but does not go for an all-out assault for fear of large civilian casualties that would alienate locals still further. Five months later, both cities remain outside of Iraqi security forces' control.

On 16 January 2014, Zawahiri’s envoy, Abu Khalid al-Suri, published a message online. He tweeted that Isis was seeking to corrupt the jihad as it had done in Iraq: militants should direct their bombs at the infidels, he declared, not at their fellow jihadis. Seventeen days later, Zawahiri played his final card: Isis was expelled from al-Qaida.

Feb 3- Al Qaeda disowns ISIS, stating that its former affiliate “is not a branch of the al-Qaeda group [and al-Qaeda] does not have an organizational relationship with it and is not the group responsible for their actions.”

"On 26 May 2014, (Al Qaeda Scholar)Maqdisi deemed the negotiations dead and, backed by his fellow al-Qaida ideologues, issued a fatwa against Isis. “It has become necessary that we tell the truth, after we exhausted all the possibilities of advice and all hopes of making Isis return to the path of truth,” Maqdisi wrote. The rebellious organisation, he declared, had no “Islamic pretext”. Baghdadi, his commanders, and their religious officials were “deviants” who had “disobeyed the orders of their leaders and head scholars”. He instructed Isis’s soldiers to defect to the Nusra Front, and decreed that no Islamic website should host Isis messages."

June 5,  2014, ISIS/ISIL forces launch an attack against the Iraqi city of Samarra, but are expelled by Iraqi airstrikes.


Jun. 9-10, 2014 ISIS/ISIL forces capture control of most of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and free hundreds of prisoners, including some of its fighters. Iraqi forces reportedly flee. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declares a state of emergency.

June 11, 2014-  ISIS/ISIL forces take control of an oil refinery at Baiji then move further down the highway to Baghdad and seize Tikrit, just 95 miles north of the capital. Hundreds of thousands of people are reported to have been displaced as a result of the fighting.

June, 2014- ISIS takes over the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, also threatening Baghdad. Five years from being all but vanquished, al-Qaeda's writ in Iraq is as strong, if not stronger, as it was before.


June 29, 2014- Isis declares a caliphate across controlled areas in Syria and Iraq while calling for global allegiance. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declares himself the leader – or caliph - of the 1.8 billion Muslims all over the world.

2014- July 2: Al-Baghdadi calls for all Muslims to gather to his new land and unite to “capture Rome” and own the world.

2014 July 3: Isis takes control of al-Omar, Syria’s largest oil-field

2015 July 5: Al-Baghdadi is recorded in his first public appearance, at the Grand Mosque in Mosul, calling on all Muslims to obey him.

2014- July 17: Isis claims to have killed 270 people after seizing the Shaer gas field in Syria. Days later dozens of Iraqi Christians leave after a warning by Isis that it will carry out a similar attack if they do not convert to Islam.

July 26: Isis blows up Jonah’s tomb, a holy site in Jewish heritage.


 2014-  August  3: Militants capture the city of Sinjar. They begin a massacre that culminates in the deaths of over 5,000 men from the Yazidi religious sect. Thousands of women are raped and sold into slavery. 200,000 Yazidi flee with as many as 50,000 becoming stranded on the Sinjar Mountains surrounded by ISIS.

August 6: Kurdish forces join the fight against Isis.


August 8: US President Barack Obama authorizes the first air strikes, which subsequently drop bombs outside the Kurdish city of Erbil, where Isis movement had sparked a mass exodus.

August 15: Isis massacres a Yazidi village in northern Iraq.


August 19: Isis’ media arm uploads a video entitled “Message to America,” showing the beheading of the American journalist and hostage James Foley. The masked militant, who speaks with a British accent, demands the US ceases air strikes.

 2014- August  29: The UK Home Secretary Theresa May raises the UK terror level to ‘severe’ in response to the conflict in Iraq and Syria.


 2014- Sept 2: Isis uploads another video featuring the same militant (now known by his tabloid monikor ‘Jihadi John’), this time showing the beheading of another US journalist, Steven Sotloff.


Sept 5: The US announces the formation of a coalition to “destroy the threat posed by Isis”. The ten-nation coalition comprises of US, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark.

-Sept 11: The CIA announces that Isis now has between 20,000 to 31,500 fighters.

The US announces numerous Aran nations have agreed to support the coalition.

Sept 13- ISIS launches an offensive on the northern Syrian city district of Kobane, home to a city of the same name, meeting a strenuous resistance from its predominantly Kurdish population. A four-month siege ensues.

Sept 13: Isis releases another video, showing the execution of British aid worker David Haines by ‘Jihadi John’. The militant threatens to kill another British hostage if the UK continues its ‘evil alliance with America.’

Sept- 22, 2014: Isis executes Iraqi human rights activist Samira Salih al-Nuaimi

Sept 23: US warplanes bomb Isis fighters in Raqqa, a northern Syrian city claimed by Isis to be its capital.

Sept 24: Isis-affiliated Algerian militant group Jund al-Khiilafah kidnap and behead a French tourist, Hervé Gourdel


Sept 29: Isis releases a video showing the kidnapped British journalist John Cantlie in an orange jumpsuit reading a seemingly scripted message criticising President Obama.

Oct 3: Isis releases a video showing the beheading of the British aid worker Alan Henning as they threaten to kill another, the American aid worker Peter Kassig, also known as Abdul Rahman Kassig

 Oct 13- ISIS English-language propaganda magazine, Dabiq, calls on jihadi sympathisers to attack westerners "wherever they can be found."


Oct 16: Isis is pushed back from the Syrian city of Kobani with help from US air strikes.

 Oct 20- a Canadian convert and IS sympathiser runs dwon two soldiers, killing one, with his car near Montreal.

Oct 22-  An Islamist gunmen kills a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa, before storming Canada's parliament building. He is subsequently shot dead by security forces.

Oct 29: Senior Australian figure and Isis recruiter Mohammad Ali Baryalei is reportedly killed in Syria.

2014- Nov. 3: The Iraqi government announces Isis has killed 322 members of the Albu Minr tribe during a series of executions.

Nov. 8: Iraqi government officials claim that Isis leader al-Baghdadi is wounded in a coalition air strike near Mosul.
Nov 13: A recording of al-Baghdadi surfaces as in which he claims the US military-led campaign is failing and that the coalition of “America and its allies are terrified, weak and powerless” and to “light the Earth with fire under all the tyrants and their soldiers and supporters.”

Nov 16: The group claims to have beheaded American aid worker Peter Kassig along with a dozen Syrian soldiers.
Nov 29: At least 40 fighters on both sides are killed in the city of Kobani during a battle between Syrian Kurds and Isis militants.


2014- Dec 19: Isis is pushed out of most of the Sinjar region of Iraq.

 Dec 15- a self-professed Muslim cleric with a criminal record for sexual assault, takes 17 hostages at a Sydney café claiming to for ISIS. Two people and the attacker die after police storm the premises.

Dec 21: The Sinjar offensive is considered a success with a Kurdish victory.

Dec 24: Isis militants claim to shoot down and then capture a Jordanian pilot in northern Syria. They demand the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an al-Qaeda prisoner held in Jordan over a failed suicide bombing.

2015- Jan 4: Isis attacks Saudi Arabia near the border city of Arar, killing four border guards.

Jan 10: A video released shows Taliban fighters pledging allegiance to Isis.

Jan 18: Isis releases about 250 Yazidis.


2015- Jan 20: The group demands a ransom of $200 million from Japan in exchange for two Japanese hostages, Kenji Goto and Haruna Yokawa.

Jan 24: A video is uploaded that seems to show Goto holding a photo of Yokawa, who has been beheaded.


Jan 26: Kurdish fighters take control of the Syrian border town of Kobane after fighting Isis for months.

2015- Jan 26- Renegade Taliban fightrs swear allegiance to Baghdadi and found 'The Islamic State in Afghanistan and Pakistan,' using Khorasan, the ancient term for the Afghanistan region.

Jan  31: A video is released showing the beheading of Kenji Goto by the British militant.


2015- Feb 3: Isis supporters post a video online of the captured Jordanian military pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive in a cage.

Feb 5: The Jordanian military carries out a series of air strikes on Isis training centres and weapons depots.

Feb 6: Isis claims a Jordanian air strike killed the American hostage Kayla Mueller.

Feb 10: Kayla Mueller’s family announce she is dead after receiving confirmation from Isis.

Feb 11: President Obama asks Congress to authorise use of military force against Isis.


Feb 15: Libyan Isis militants release a video that appears to show the group beheading 21 Egyptian Christians.

Feb 15- An IS sympathiser goes on a gun rampage in Copenhagen, Denmark, killing two, at freedom of speech event and a synagogue.

Feb 15- IS Libyan branch releases footage showing the beheading of 21 Eguptian Christians on a beach.

Feb 16: Egypt launches air strikes on Isis camps, training sites and weapon depots in retaliation for the beheadings.

Feb 22: Isis releases a propaganda video of Kurdish Peshmerga troops in orange jumpsuits in cages.

Feb 26: The identity of terrorist known as ‘Jihadi John’ is revealed as Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwati-born Londoner.

Feb 26- Isis also releases a video of the destruction of historical artefacts in the Mosul Museum.

2015- March 4: Isis releases images of a man thrown off a building as punishment for being gay.


March 12: Boko Harem, the Islamist militant group in northern Nigeria pledges allegiance to Isis. Isis accepts.

 March 18- ISIS claims responsibility for a deadly attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, in which 22 people, including British, French and Italian tourists are killed.

2015- March 20: Isis takes responsibility for a suicide bombing that kills 137 people and wounds over 300 in Yemen.


March 24: Isis uses the town of Tataouine, a Tunisian town that inspired the Star Wars city of Tattooine, as a waypoint to cross into Libya.

March 25: US-led coalition begins air strikes on the Iraqi city of Tikrit.


2015- April 1: Iraq declares victory over Isis in Tikrit.

Apr 12: Iraqi government declares Tikrit free of Isis forces.

Apr 18: Fighters in Isis’ Wilayat Khorasan province claim responsibility for a suicide bombing in Afghanistan that kills 33 people and injures over 100.

Apr 19: Isis produces a video showing the shooting and beheadings in Libya of two groups of prisoners, who are identified as 30 Ethiopian Christians.

2015- May 1: It is reported that Al-Baghdadi is recovering in Mosul

May 2: Isis kills 300 Yazidi captives in Iraq.


April- newly arrivied ISIS and the Taliban declare Jihad against one another


May 5: The group claims an attack in Garland, Texas, where two gunmen opened fire on a contest to draw the Prophet Mohamed.

May 13: Abu Alaa Afri, the deputy leader of Isis, is killed in US-led coalition air strike.

2015 May 16: US Special Ops kill Abu Sayaaf, a senior Isis commander, and capture his wife.


May 17: Isis seizes the city of Ramadi in Iraq. Over 500 people are killed.


May 20: Isis takes control of the ancient city of Palymyra, Syria.

May 28: The group claims it has seized the Libyan Air Force airport in Sirte.

2015 June 1: A militant posts a “selfie” online, which leads the US military to identify and perform air strikes on a compound, destroying it in the process.

June 2: Isis closes the gates of a dam in Ramadi.


June 7: Isis captures 10 Taliban militants in Afghanistan and beheads them.


June 15: Syrian Kurdish fighters take the town of Tell Abyad from Isis.

June 23: Kurds take back a key base north of Raqqa from Isis fighters

On the same day, a video emerges showing a group of hostages being split into three, before some are executed using a rocket-propelled grenade, others are drowned in a cage and the rest are beheaded using electrical charges.


Militants begin destroying ancient monuments in the ancient city of Palmyra.

June 26- Isis claims the killing of 38 people in a shooting at a Tunisian beach resort and for a separate suicide bombing that kills at least 25 Shiite worshipers in a Kuwait mosque.

The Fight for Al Hasakah, Syria.

2015- 30 May- after ISIL forces suffered collapse in the western Al-Hasakah province, they launched an offensive on the Syrian government-held portion of Al-Hasakah city. Although the Kurdish YPG initially stayed out of the conflict, they eventually joined the conflict on 5 June, after ISIL reached the southern gate of the city, after a decision that the YPG would be recognized as a primary combatant force in the city.  (Wikipedia)

 2015- 8 June- ISIL was pushed back from Al-Hasakah city, and Syrian Army forces were able to establish a 12 kilometer (7.46 mi) buffer zone around the southern portion of Al-Hasakah.

 Afghanistan- ISIS and the death of Mullah Omar.

July 31- Death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, gives possible boost to ISIS over leaderless Taliban factions.


11 August. ISIS loses Al Hasakah to Syrian Government forces. The US-led Coalition conducted an airstrike on a village east of Al-Hasakah city, blowing up a building that ISIL was using for a meeting, which killed over 50 ISIL militants. On 12 August, ISIL reportedly publicly shot and executed more than 90 of its own members as punishment for escaping the battlefield. ISIL claimed that the fighters' desertion was the main cause of ISIL's loss at the Battle of Al-Hasakah. It was reported on 16 August that ISIL had executed four more of its own fighters for allegedly collaborating with the Coalition. (Wikipedia)

Aug 19- Militants from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) beheaded one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra, then hung his body from one of the town's Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday. The killing of 81-year-old Khaled al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and neighbouring Iraq and declared a self-styled "caliphate" on the territory it controls.

Aug 24- Islamic State militants have released photos showing what appears to be the destruction of the ancient Baal Shamin temple in Syria's Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recently captured and vandalized by the jihadists.

2015- Aug 30- ISIS blows up 2000 year old Temple of Bel in Palmyra.

 thanks to BBC Timelines and: 
TheIndependent on Sunday

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