Why is ISIS attacking the US

IraqOffensive against jihadists

Iraq's government is going on the counter-offensive: In the north of the country, the army claims to have recaptured two cities from the jihadists. The Isis terror group meanwhile boasts pictures of mass shootings on the Internet. Washington sends an aircraft carrier to the Gulf.

After the advance of the jihadist terrorist group Isis in northern Iraq, the army claims to have launched a counter-offensive over the weekend. On Saturday the army announced the retaking of the cities of Ishaki and Muatassam in Salaheddin province. As government spokesman Kassem Atta announced at a press conference on Sunday, the military killed 279 "terrorists". The army has "taken the initiative again" in the fight against the jihadists.

According to correspondent reports, more than 30 people were killed in heavy fighting on Sunday, including at least ten civilians. Another twelve people died in a suicide attack in Baghdad. Isis extremists showed flogging, shootings and mass graves in photos and videos on the Internet.

A photo on "Welayat Salahuddin": According to the jihadist website, it shows Isis extremists leading Iraqi security forces to execution. (AFP PHOTO / HO / WELAYAT SALAHUDDIN)

The terrorist group Isis, which exclusively recruits Muslims of Sunni faith, has established itself primarily in the western Iraqi province of Anbar and in the north between Mosul and Baghdad. The media reported that the army, together with thousands of volunteers, was preparing to recapture the northern metropolis of Mosul and the central Iraqi city of Tikrit. At the beginning of the week, Isis fighters had made an advance towards Baghdad from Mosul. In the meantime they have been partially repulsed by soldiers, volunteers and Kurdish Peshmerga troops. Isis temporarily controlled the three major highways north of Baghdad, separating the Kurdish region from the rest of the country.

Shiite volunteers in particular had recently responded in droves to a call by the Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to resist the extremists. In the Shiite holy city of Najaf alone, 100,000 recruits were expected to join the Iraqi army, "Al-Sumaria News" reported.

Dispute in the USA over intervention

In response to the escalation, the US sent warships to the Persian Gulf. The aircraft carrier "USS George H.W. Bush" was accompanied by a missile-armed cruiser and a destroyer. This will give US President Barack Obama additional flexibility should military options become necessary to protect the lives of Americans and interests in Iraq, the US Department of Defense said. After the Iraq war (2003-2011), Obama had ruled out a return of US combat troops to the country. But he kept other military options open.

The opposition Republicans called on Obama to take more decisive action. John McCain, a former presidential nominee of influential Senator, urged Obama to launch immediate air strikes to stop the jihadist advance. US Secretary of State John Kerry, on the other hand, attached conditions to aid for the Iraqi government. In a telephone conversation with his Iraqi colleague Hoschiar Sebari, he emphasized that US intervention would be of no use as long as the various groups in the country did not overcome their differences in order to create the national unity necessary for Iraq's future.

Iran's president offers US cooperation

Iran's President Hassan Ruhani was open to cooperation with the United States in the fight against Isis. However, the initiative must come from the Americans. For Reinhard Baumgarten, ARD correspondent in Therean, however, it is by no means unselfish if Iran now guarantees the former arch enemy Iraq unlimited solidarity in the fight against Isis. said Baumgarten on Deutschlandfunk.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was expected in member country Turkey that evening. At a special meeting of the NATO Council on Wednesday, Turkey informed its allies about the kidnapping of dozens of Turks in northern Iraq.

(tön / hg)


The organization "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" (Isis) is one of the most radical Islamist groups in the Middle East. She is fighting for a Sunni state of God in the Arab world. ISIS emerged from the Iraqi resistance of the group "Tawhid and Jihad" founded in 2003, which turned against the US invasion of Iraq. The group not only attacked US soldiers in Iraq, but also carried out suicide attacks on Shiites and Christians in the country.

Great Sunni state

The first leader was the Jordanian Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi. Al-Zarqawi was killed by the US Army in 2006. Iraqis have been running the organization ever since. The Iraqi Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has been at the helm of Isis since May 2010. Their second name "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" illustrates the claim to establish a large Sunni state between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates.

Isis gained power when it interfered in the Syrian civil war in the spring of 2013. Isis attacks Syrian-Kurdish cities and kills the civilian population, especially in northeast Syria. In Iraq, Isis is profiting from the dispute between the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government under Nuri Al-Maliki and the country's Sunni parties.

Financed by road tolls

Isis is financed, among other things, by road tariffs along the borders between Iraq and Syria. International brigades fight in the ranks of the group, including Muslims from North Africa and the Arab Gulf States as well as converts from Europe and North America.