Skip to main content

The Islamic State is here to stay

Unlike al-Qaeda, the Islamic State has been able to institutionalize jihad, thus guaranteeing its survival.
Iraqi security forces pull down a flag belonging to Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a patrol in the town of Dalli Abbas in Diyala province, June 30, 2014. The leader of the al Qaeda offshoot now calling itself the Islamic State has called on Muslims worldwide to take up arms and flock to the "caliphate" it has declared on captured Syrian and Iraqi soil. Picture taken June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) -

The Iraqi Interior Ministry announced that a number of high-ranking Islamic State (IS) leaders were targeted in a Nov. 8 airstrike. The US military confirmed the news that 50 IS top leaders were killed in airstrikes, without confirming whether IS' self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was among them.

Newspapers and social networking sites widely spread the news, some even posting fabricated images of Baghdadi that allegedly confirmed his death. However, IS issued an audio recording of Baghdadi, proving that he was alive. The caliph said that the coalition strikes were ineffective and that the caliphate would continue to expand unabated.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.