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عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
As of early 2017, ISIL controlled approximately 45,377 square kilometers of territory in Iraq and Syria and 7,323 square kilometers of territory elsewhere, for a total of 52,700 square kilometers. This represents a substantial decline from the group's territorial peak in late 2014, when it controlled over 100,000 square kilometers of territory in total. ISIS's territory has declined substantially in almost every country since 2014, a result of the group's unpopularity and the military action taken against it. It threatened both Baghdad and Irbil in Iraq while consolidating control over more of eastern Syria and taking its fight toward Aleppo The root cause of this region-wide crisis is the failure of state authorities to be able to control their borders and their territories, to provide services to their populations and, ultimately, to forge a common political identity that could be the basis of political community. In the absence of central government control, local forces emerge, based on sectarian, ethnic, tribal and regional identities, to fill the gap. It has become largely self-funding, earning revenue from banditry, protection rackets, control of trade routes and taking over lucrative assets like oil refineries and gas stations. It recruits broadly, in the Middle East and North Africa and globally, its very success spurring jihadists and sympathizers to join it. It is extremely well organized and disciplined.