The Economist Espresso via e-mail for Monday December 29th
2014 in review: Islamic State, the new enemy
In 2013 the jihadists then known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria were just another terror group; in 2014 they have filled front pages, having made rapid territorial gains in both countries and published grisly videos of executions. In June the group took Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city, renamed itself Islamic State and declared the area under its rule a caliphate, complete with courts, security forces and a consumer-protection bureau. In August an American-led coalition started bombing IS in Iraq and, a month later, in Syria too. Strikes have hemmed in the group but it continues to inspire extremists around the world, some of whom have carried out “lone wolf” attacks. The fight against IS will surely continue into 2015 and beyond. But some observers point out that the causes of its rise are still not being addressed, including the marginalisation of Sunnis in Iraq and the continued tyranny of Bashar Assad in Syria.