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Islamic State tightens noose around Iraq, Syria

The Islamic State is tightening control over the regions it captured in Iraq in an attempt to consolidate its power.
A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stands guard with his weapon by the side of a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Tuesday urging them to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to dismember the country. Picture taken June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR3VIH0
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To prove its ascendance of a political fait accompli, the Islamic State (IS) is attempting to demonstrate its ability to control the areas it has thus far occupied. To this end, the group is organizing on the ground to give the impression that no one should count on its being defeated or on eliminating it, with or without airstrikes.

It is not by chance that IS orders that its slogan, “The Islamic State will remain,” be recited by its victims before they are killed, as recognition that it is an undeniable and unbeatable reality. The group is well aware that occupying land is not the same as having control over it, so it needs to assert its authority and power over the territory it has seized to make them IS strongholds.

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