האגודה הישראלית לחקר יחסי עבודה

מחקר, הוראה ומדיניות בתחום יחסי העבודה

header header1
  • שרגא ברוש, יו"ר לשכת התאום לארגונים הכלכליים
  • קובי בר-נתן, מ"מ הממונה על השכר במשרד האוצר
  • השופטת ורדה וירט-לבנה, נשיאת בית הדין הארצי לעבודה
  • עו"ד שלמה יצחקי, הממונה הראשי על יחסי עבודה
  • עו"ד אבי ניסנקורן, יו"ר הנהגת ההסתדרות הכללית החדשה

חיפוש מחקרים

Bashar al-Assad's Texas-sized victory against ISIS

  • Here's a look at the evolution of the Islamic State group, its atrocities and the world's response to the extremists.
November 13, 2015129 people were killed in Paris during a coordinated attack planned by Islamic State involving multiple attackers, automatic weapons and multiple suicide bombs. Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD, Staff / AFP / Getty Images / AFP PHOTO
  • Nov. 13, 2015U.S. officials overnight say they launched a drone strike targeting Jihadi John. Emwazi's status isn't immediately unclear. Photo: HO / AFP / Getty Images / AFP
  • Nov. 12, 2015Kurdish Iraqi fighters launch a long-awaited offensive to retake the strategic town of Sinjar from the IS, severing a militant supply line. Islamic State militants also claim a nighttime bombing in Beirut killing at least 43 people. Photo: Anadolu Agency, Getty Images / 2014 Anadolu Agency
  • Oct. 31, 2015A Russian passenger plane crashes in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people. An IS affiliate claims responsibility. U.S. and British officials later say it's likely a bomb brought the plane down. Photo: Maxim Grigoriev, Associated Press
  • Sept. 30, 2015Russia, an ally of Syria's embattled president, begins airstrikes it says target the Islamic State group and other extremists in Syria. The West maintains the campaign is bolstering Assad against his foes. Photo: Ho, AFP / Getty Images
  • Aug. 5, 2015An affiliate of the Islamic State group threatens to kill Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek in 48 hours unless Egypt releases "Muslim women" it holds in prison.Aug. 12 Salopek was executedSept. 10The Islamic State group claims to hold Norwegian Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad and Chinese consultant Fan Jinghui as hostages and demands a ransom for their release. Photo: Uncredited, Associated Press
  • July 23, 2015Turkey agrees to let the United States launch airstrikes against the Islamic State group from its strategic Incirlik Air Base. Turkey later begins striking Islamic State targets in Syria, as well as Kurdish forces it considers a threat. Photo: Vadim Ghirda, STR / AP
  • June 16, 2015Kurds take the crucial Syrian border town of Tal Abyad from the Islamic State group. Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis, Associated Press
  • May 17, 2015The contested Iraqi city of Ramadi falls to the Islamic State group as Iraqi forces abandon their weapons and armored vehicles and flee, despite intensified U.S.-led airstrikes. Photo: Uncredited / AP
  • April 19, 2015Islamic State affiliates in Libya release a video showing them behead and shoot dead groups of Ethiopian Christians, slayings resembling the February beheadings of the Egyptian Coptic Christians. Photo: Uncredited, Associated Press
  • April 18, 2015Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blames the Islamic State group for a suicide bombing in the country that kills at least 35 people and wounds 125. Photo: Massoud Hossaini, STF / AP
  • April 1, 2015Iraq declares a "magnificent victory" over the Islamic State group in Tikrit, its biggest gain yet against the militants. Photo: Ahmad Al-rubaye, AFP / Getty Images
  • March 25, 2015The U.S.-led coalition begins airstrikes on Tikrit after Iraqi efforts to take the city stall. Shiite militias pull out of Iraqi forces in protest, but later rejoin the offensive. Photo: Khalid Mohammed, AP / AP
  • March 20, 2015An emerging IS affiliate in Yemen claims a series of suicide bombings killing 137 people and wounding 345. A Saudi-led war in Yemen against Shiite rebels there slowly draws away Arab support for the U.S. anti-IS campaign. Photo: Uncredited, Associated Press
  • March 11, 2015Iraqi troops and allied Shiite militiamen enter the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit, backed by Iranian advisers and forgoing the air support of the U.S.-led coalition. Photo: AP / via Associated Press Television News
  • Feb. 16, 2015Egypt launches airstrikes in Libya in retaliation for the beheadings. Photo: Uncredited, AP / Egyptian Defense Ministry
  • Feb. 15Libyan militants who earlier pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State group behead a group of Coptic Christians from Egypt in an online video. Photo: AP / Militant Video
  • Feb. 15, 2015.Libyan militants who earlier pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State group behead a group of Coptic Christians from Egypt in an online video. Photo: Hassan Ammar, AP / AP
  • Feb. 6, 2015The Islamic State group claims a Jordanian airstrike kills American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller. U.S. officials later confirm her death, but say it wasn't caused by a Jordanian airstrike. Photo: Jo. L. Keener, AP / The Daily Courier
  • Feb. 3, 2015The Islamic State group releases a video of it burning al-Kaseasbeh to death in a cage, sparking outrage in Jordan, which launches new strikes targeting the militants. Photo: Nasser Nasser, AP / AP
  • Jan. 31The Islamic State group releases video saying it beheaded Goto. Photo: Reportr By Independent Press And Pacific Bridge Media & Consulting, AP / Reportr by Independent Press/Pacific Bridge Media & Consulting
  • Jan. 26, 2015Kurdish fighters take control of the Syrian border town of Kobani near Turkey after fighting the Islamic State group for months. U.S.-led airstrikes helped turn the tide for the Kurds. Photo: Jake Simkin, AP / AP
  • Jan. 24, 2015A message claims the Islamic State group beheads Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, right, a 42-year-old adventurer, after earlier demanding $200 million for him and captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. Japanese and Jordanian officials attempt to negotiate a prisoner swap to free him and captured Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh. Photo: HONS / Islamic State group
  • Jan. 10, 2015An online video shows Taliban fighters in Pakistan pledge loyalty to the Islamic State group and behead a man they identify as a soldier. Similar pledges previously arose from Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere in the Mideast. Afghan authorities later acknowledge a similar presence in their country. Photo: Ishtiaq Mahsud, Associated Press
  • Nov. 16, 2014An Islamic State group video shows extremists behead a dozen Syrian soldiers and U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig. Photo: HANDOUT / AFP
  • Nov. 8, 2014Iraqi officials say al-Baghdadi is wounded in an airstrike on an Iraqi town near the Syrian border. Days later, an online audio message purportedly from al-Baghdadi urges his followers to "explode the volcanoes of jihad everywhere." Photo: Hasan Jamali, AP / AP
  • Oct. 3, 2014The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead British hostage Alan Henning. Photo: Family Handout, HONS / family handout
  • Sept. 13, 2014The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead British aid worker David Haines. Photo: Associated Press / AP
  • Sept. 2, 2014The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff. Photo: HO, Handout / AFP
  • Aug. 19, 2014The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead James Foley, a 40-year-old journalist from Rochester, New Hampshire, in response to the U.S.-led airstrikes. This marks the first of many videos showing militants behead Western captives. Photo: Nicole Tung, AP / freejamesfoley.org
  • Aug. 8, 2014The U.S. begins targeting the Islamic State group with airstrikes, citing the humanitarian plight of Iraq's minorities, like the Yazidi. Photo: Tech. Sgt. Russ Scalf, HOPD / U.S. Air Force
  • June 29, 2014The group declares the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in territories it controls in Iraq and Syria and demands allegiance from Muslims worldwide. It declares al-Baghdadi the leader of the new caliphate. The militants rename themselves the Islamic State group.July 5, 2014A man purporting to be al-Baghdadi makes his first public appearance, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Mosul. Photo: Uncredited, Associated Press
  • June 10, 2014Al-Baghdadi's fighters take over Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul, followed by Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit and smaller communities in the Sunni heartland as government forces melt away. Photo: Uncredited, AP / AP
  • Early February 2014Al-Qaida breaks with al-Baghdadi's group, now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Al-Baghdadi ignores al-Qaida as his group now has control of wide regions of Syria, including the city of Raqqa, which becomes the group's de facto capital. Photo: Uncredited, AP / militant website
  • January 2014Al-Baghdadi's forces sweep into Ramadi and Fallujah in Iraq's Anbar province, which Iraqi security forces had abandoned weeks earlier. That came after security forces killed demonstrators during a Sunni protest, effectively turning the unrest into an uprising. Photo: Uncredited, AP / AP
  • July 2013A military-style assault by al-Baghdadi's fighters on two Baghdad-area prisons free more than 500 inmates. Photo: Karim Kadim, AP / AP
  • April 2013Al-Baghdadi announces his group has taken over the Nusra Front, the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria. Nusra denies the takeover, sparking anger and infighting that continues to this day. Photo: Anonymous, HOPD / Edlib News Network ENN
  • Oct. 4, 2011The U.S. puts a $10 million bounty on al-Baghdadi's head over a series of attacks he orchestrated.July 21, 2012In his first purported online message, al-Baghdadi promises to regain lost ground in Iraq and calls on militants to "chase and liquidate the judges, the investigators and the guards." Within days, his group begins a campaign of attacks, car bombings and other assaults killing hundreds. He also mentions Syria, in the grips of a civil war pitting largely Sunni rebels against embattled President Bashar Assad. By this time, al-Baghdadi already has begun to send fighters there. / U.S. State Department
  • Oct. 31, 2010Al-Baghdadi's al-Qaida militants attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic church in Baghdad during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion there. The militants reportedly demand the release of Muslim women they claim were held by Egypt's Coptic Christian church. Photo: Khalid Mohammed, Associated Press / AP2010
  • April 18, 2010U.S. and Iraqi forces kill two top al-Qaida in Iraq leaders, allowing al-Baghdadi to become the leader of a terror group weakened by a concerted campaign aimed at ending a Sunni insurgency in the country.Click through the rest of the photos to see a timeline of the Islamic State Group Photo: Uncredited, HOEP / Militant video
    Photo: Sasha Mordovets, Getty Images
    Image 1of/43

    Caption

    Close

    Image 1 of 43
    Take a closer look back at how the Islamic State rose to power. 

    Bashar al-Assad is pictured in this file photo. 
    Take a closer look back at how the Islamic State rose to power. 

    Bashar al-Assad is pictured in this file photo. 
    Photo: Sasha Mordovets, Getty Images
    Image 2 of 43
    Here's a look at the evolution of the Islamic State group, its atrocities and the world's response to the extremists.
    Here's a look at the evolution of the Islamic State group, its atrocities and the world's response to the extremists.
    Image 3 of 43
    November 13, 2015

    129 people were killed in Paris during a coordinated attack planned by Islamic State involving multiple attackers, automatic weapons and multiple suicide bombs.
    November 13, 2015

    129 people were killed in Paris during a coordinated attack planned by Islamic State involving multiple attackers, automatic weapons and multiple suicide bombs.
    Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD, Staff / AFP / Getty Images
    Image 4 of 43
    Nov. 13, 2015

    U.S. officials overnight say they launched a drone strike targeting Jihadi John. Emwazi's status isn't immediately unclear.
    Nov. 13, 2015

    U.S. officials overnight say they launched a drone strike targeting Jihadi John. Emwazi's status isn't immediately unclear.
    Photo: HO / AFP / Getty Images
    Image 5 of 43
    Nov. 12, 2015

    Kurdish Iraqi fighters launch a long-awaited offensive to retake the strategic town of Sinjar from the IS, severing a militant supply line. Islamic State militants also claim a nighttime bombing in Beirut killing at least 43 people.
    less
    Nov. 12, 2015

    Kurdish Iraqi fighters launch a long-awaited offensive to retake the strategic town of Sinjar from the IS, severing a militant supply line. Islamic State militants also claim a nighttime bombing in
    ... more
    Photo: Anadolu Agency, Getty Images
    Image 6 of 43
    Oct. 31, 2015

    A Russian passenger plane crashes in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people. An IS affiliate claims responsibility. U.S. and British officials later say it's likely a bomb brought the plane down.
    less
    Oct. 31, 2015

    A Russian passenger plane crashes in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people. An IS affiliate claims responsibility. U.S. and British officials later say it's likely a bomb brought the plane
    ... more
    Photo: Maxim Grigoriev, Associated Press
    Image 7 of 43
    Sept. 30, 2015

    Russia, an ally of Syria's embattled president, begins airstrikes it says target the Islamic State group and other extremists in Syria. The West maintains the campaign is bolstering Assad against his foes.
    less
    Sept. 30, 2015

    Russia, an ally of Syria's embattled president, begins airstrikes it says target the Islamic State group and other extremists in Syria. The West maintains the campaign is bolstering Assad against
    ... more
    Photo: Ho, AFP / Getty Images
    Image 8 of 43
    Aug. 5, 2015

    An affiliate of the Islamic State group threatens to kill Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek in 48 hours unless Egypt releases "Muslim women" it holds in prison.

    Aug. 12

    Salopek was executed

    Sept. 10

    The Islamic State group claims to hold Norwegian Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad and Chinese consultant Fan Jinghui as hostages and demands a ransom for their release. less

    Aug. 5, 2015

    An affiliate of the Islamic State group threatens to kill Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek in 48 hours unless Egypt releases "Muslim women" it holds in prison.

    Aug. 12

    Salopek was executed

    Sept.
    ... more

    Photo: Uncredited, Associated Press
    Image 9 of 43
    July 23, 2015

    Turkey agrees to let the United States launch airstrikes against the Islamic State group from its strategic Incirlik Air Base. Turkey later begins striking Islamic State targets in Syria, as well as Kurdish forces it considers a threat.
    less
    July 23, 2015

    Turkey agrees to let the United States launch airstrikes against the Islamic State group from its strategic Incirlik Air Base. Turkey later begins striking Islamic State targets in Syria, as well
    ... more
    Photo: Vadim Ghirda, STR
    Image 10 of 43
    June 16, 2015

    Kurds take the crucial Syrian border town of Tal Abyad from the Islamic State group.
    June 16, 2015

    Kurds take the crucial Syrian border town of Tal Abyad from the Islamic State group.
    Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis, Associated Press
    Image 11 of 43
    May 17, 2015

    The contested Iraqi city of Ramadi falls to the Islamic State group as Iraqi forces abandon their weapons and armored vehicles and flee, despite intensified U.S.-led airstrikes.
    May 17, 2015

    The contested Iraqi city of Ramadi falls to the Islamic State group as Iraqi forces abandon their weapons and armored vehicles and flee, despite intensified U.S.-led airstrikes.
    Photo: Uncredited
    Image 12 of 43
    April 19, 2015

    Islamic State affiliates in Libya release a video showing them behead and shoot dead groups of Ethiopian Christians, slayings resembling the February beheadings of the Egyptian Coptic Christians.
    April 19, 2015

    Islamic State affiliates in Libya release a video showing them behead and shoot dead groups of Ethiopian Christians, slayings resembling the February beheadings of the Egyptian Coptic Christians.
    Photo: Uncredited, Associated Press
    Image 13 of 43
    April 18, 2015

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blames the Islamic State group for a suicide bombing in the country that kills at least 35 people and wounds 125.
    April 18, 2015

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blames the Islamic State group for a suicide bombing in the country that kills at least 35 people and wounds 125.
    Photo: Massoud Hossaini, STF
    Image 14 of 43
    April 1, 2015

    Iraq declares a "magnificent victory" over the Islamic State group in Tikrit, its biggest gain yet against the militants.
    April 1, 2015

    Iraq declares a "magnificent victory" over the Islamic State group in Tikrit, its biggest gain yet against the militants.
    Photo: Ahmad Al-rubaye, AFP / Getty Images
    Image 15 of 43
    March 25, 2015

    The U.S.-led coalition begins airstrikes on Tikrit after Iraqi efforts to take the city stall. Shiite militias pull out of Iraqi forces in protest, but later rejoin the offensive.
    March 25, 2015

    The U.S.-led coalition begins airstrikes on Tikrit after Iraqi efforts to take the city stall. Shiite militias pull out of Iraqi forces in protest, but later rejoin the offensive.
    Photo: Khalid Mohammed, AP
    Image 16 of 43
    March 20, 2015

    An emerging IS affiliate in Yemen claims a series of suicide bombings killing 137 people and wounding 345. A Saudi-led war in Yemen against Shiite rebels there slowly draws away Arab support for the U.S. anti-IS campaign.
    less
    March 20, 2015

    An emerging IS affiliate in Yemen claims a series of suicide bombings killing 137 people and wounding 345. A Saudi-led war in Yemen against Shiite rebels there slowly draws away Arab support for
    ... more
    Photo: Uncredited, Associated Press
    Image 17 of 43
    March 11, 2015

    Iraqi troops and allied Shiite militiamen enter the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit, backed by Iranian advisers and forgoing the air support of the U.S.-led coalition.
    March 11, 2015

    Iraqi troops and allied Shiite militiamen enter the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit, backed by Iranian advisers and forgoing the air support of the U.S.-led coalition.
    Photo: AP
    Image 18 of 43
    Feb. 16, 2015

    Egypt launches airstrikes in Libya in retaliation for the beheadings.
    Feb. 16, 2015

    Egypt launches airstrikes in Libya in retaliation for the beheadings.
    Photo: Uncredited, AP
    Image 19 of 43
    Feb. 15

    Libyan militants who earlier pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State group behead a group of Coptic Christians from Egypt in an online video.
    Feb. 15

    Libyan militants who earlier pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State group behead a group of Coptic Christians from Egypt in an online video.
    Photo: AP
    Image 20 of 43
    Feb. 15, 2015.

    Libyan militants who earlier pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State group behead a group of Coptic Christians from Egypt in an online video.
    Feb. 15, 2015.

    Libyan militants who earlier pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State group behead a group of Coptic Christians from Egypt in an online video.
    Photo: Hassan Ammar, AP
    Image 21 of 43
    Feb. 6, 2015

    The Islamic State group claims a Jordanian airstrike kills American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller. U.S. officials later confirm her death, but say it wasn't caused by a Jordanian airstrike.
    Feb. 6, 2015

    The Islamic State group claims a Jordanian airstrike kills American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller. U.S. officials later confirm her death, but say it wasn't caused by a Jordanian airstrike.
    Photo: Jo. L. Keener, AP
    Image 22 of 43
    Feb. 3, 2015

    The Islamic State group releases a video of it burning al-Kaseasbeh to death in a cage, sparking outrage in Jordan, which launches new strikes targeting the militants.
    Feb. 3, 2015

    The Islamic State group releases a video of it burning al-Kaseasbeh to death in a cage, sparking outrage in Jordan, which launches new strikes targeting the militants.
    Photo: Nasser Nasser, AP
    Image 23 of 43
    Jan. 31

    The Islamic State group releases video saying it beheaded Goto.
    Jan. 31

    The Islamic State group releases video saying it beheaded Goto.
    Photo: Reportr By Independent Press And Pacific Bridge Media & Consulting, AP
    Image 24 of 43
    Jan. 26, 2015

    Kurdish fighters take control of the Syrian border town of Kobani near Turkey after fighting the Islamic State group for months. U.S.-led airstrikes helped turn the tide for the Kurds.
    Jan. 26, 2015

    Kurdish fighters take control of the Syrian border town of Kobani near Turkey after fighting the Islamic State group for months. U.S.-led airstrikes helped turn the tide for the Kurds.
    Photo: Jake Simkin, AP
    Image 25 of 43
    Jan. 24, 2015

    A message claims the Islamic State group beheads Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, right, a 42-year-old adventurer, after earlier demanding $200 million for him and captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. Japanese and Jordanian officials attempt to negotiate a prisoner swap to free him and captured Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh.
    less
    Jan. 24, 2015

    A message claims the Islamic State group beheads Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, right, a 42-year-old adventurer, after earlier demanding $200 million for him and captive Japanese journalist Kenji
    ... more
    Photo: HONS
    Image 26 of 43
    Jan. 10, 2015

    An online video shows Taliban fighters in Pakistan pledge loyalty to the Islamic State group and behead a man they identify as a soldier. Similar pledges previously arose from Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere in the Mideast. Afghan authorities later acknowledge a similar presence in their country.
    less
    Jan. 10, 2015

    An online video shows Taliban fighters in Pakistan pledge loyalty to the Islamic State group and behead a man they identify as a soldier. Similar pledges previously arose from Egypt, Yemen and
    ... more
    Photo: Ishtiaq Mahsud, Associated Press
    Image 27 of 43
    Nov. 16, 2014

    An Islamic State group video shows extremists behead a dozen Syrian soldiers and U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig.
    Nov. 16, 2014

    An Islamic State group video shows extremists behead a dozen Syrian soldiers and U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig.
    Photo: HANDOUT
    Image 28 of 43
    Nov. 8, 2014

    Iraqi officials say al-Baghdadi is wounded in an airstrike on an Iraqi town near the Syrian border. Days later, an online audio message purportedly from al-Baghdadi urges his followers to "explode the volcanoes of jihad everywhere."
    less
    Nov. 8, 2014

    Iraqi officials say al-Baghdadi is wounded in an airstrike on an Iraqi town near the Syrian border. Days later, an online audio message purportedly from al-Baghdadi urges his followers to "explode
    ... more
    Photo: Hasan Jamali, AP
    Image 29 of 43
    Oct. 3, 2014

    The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead British hostage Alan Henning.
    Oct. 3, 2014

    The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead British hostage Alan Henning.
    Photo: Family Handout, HONS
    Image 30 of 43
    Sept. 13, 2014

    The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead British aid worker David Haines.
    Sept. 13, 2014

    The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead British aid worker David Haines.
    Photo: Associated Press
    Image 31 of 43
    Sept. 2, 2014

    The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff.
    Sept. 2, 2014

    The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff.
    Photo: HO, Handout
    Image 32 of 43
    Aug. 19, 2014

    The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead James Foley, a 40-year-old journalist from Rochester, New Hampshire, in response to the U.S.-led airstrikes. This marks the first of many videos showing militants behead Western captives.
    less
    Aug. 19, 2014

    The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead James Foley, a 40-year-old journalist from Rochester, New Hampshire, in response to the U.S.-led airstrikes. This marks the first of
    ... more
    Photo: Nicole Tung, AP
    Image 33 of 43
    Aug. 8, 2014

    The U.S. begins targeting the Islamic State group with airstrikes, citing the humanitarian plight of Iraq's minorities, like the Yazidi.
    Aug. 8, 2014

    The U.S. begins targeting the Islamic State group with airstrikes, citing the humanitarian plight of Iraq's minorities, like the Yazidi.
    Photo: Tech. Sgt. Russ Scalf, HOPD
    Image 34 of 43
    June 29, 2014

    The group declares the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in territories it controls in Iraq and Syria and demands allegiance from Muslims worldwide. It declares al-Baghdadi the leader of the new caliphate. The militants rename themselves the Islamic State group.

    July 5, 2014

    A man purporting to be al-Baghdadi makes his first public appearance, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Mosul.
    less
    June 29, 2014

    The group declares the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in territories it controls in Iraq and Syria and demands allegiance from Muslims worldwide. It declares al-Baghdadi the
    ... more
    Photo: Uncredited, Associated Press
    Image 35 of 43
    June 10, 2014

    Al-Baghdadi's fighters take over Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul, followed by Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit and smaller communities in the Sunni heartland as government forces melt away.
    June 10, 2014

    Al-Baghdadi's fighters take over Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul, followed by Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit and smaller communities in the Sunni heartland as government forces melt away.
    Photo: Uncredited, AP
    Image 36 of 43
    Early February 2014

    Al-Qaida breaks with al-Baghdadi's group, now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Al-Baghdadi ignores al-Qaida as his group now has control of wide regions of Syria, including the city of Raqqa, which becomes the group's de facto capital.
    less
    Early February 2014

    Al-Qaida breaks with al-Baghdadi's group, now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Al-Baghdadi ignores al-Qaida as his group now has control of wide regions of Syria, including
    ... more
    Photo: Uncredited, AP
    Image 37 of 43
    January 2014

    Al-Baghdadi's forces sweep into Ramadi and Fallujah in Iraq's Anbar province, which Iraqi security forces had abandoned weeks earlier. That came after security forces killed demonstrators during a Sunni protest, effectively turning the unrest into an uprising.
    less
    January 2014

    Al-Baghdadi's forces sweep into Ramadi and Fallujah in Iraq's Anbar province, which Iraqi security forces had abandoned weeks earlier. That came after security forces killed demonstrators during a
    ... more
    Photo: Uncredited, AP
    Image 38 of 43
    July 2013

    A military-style assault by al-Baghdadi's fighters on two Baghdad-area prisons free more than 500 inmates.
    July 2013

    A military-style assault by al-Baghdadi's fighters on two Baghdad-area prisons free more than 500 inmates.
    Photo: Karim Kadim, AP
    Image 39 of 43
    April 2013

    Al-Baghdadi announces his group has taken over the Nusra Front, the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria. Nusra denies the takeover, sparking anger and infighting that continues to this day.
    April 2013

    Al-Baghdadi announces his group has taken over the Nusra Front, the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria. Nusra denies the takeover, sparking anger and infighting that continues to this day.
    Photo: Anonymous, HOPD
    Image 40 of 43
    Oct. 4, 2011

    The U.S. puts a $10 million bounty on al-Baghdadi's head over a series of attacks he orchestrated.

    July 21, 2012

    In his first purported online message, al-Baghdadi promises to regain lost ground in Iraq and calls on militants to "chase and liquidate the judges, the investigators and the guards." Within days, his group begins a campaign of attacks, car bombings and other assaults killing hundreds. He also mentions Syria, in the grips of a civil war pitting largely Sunni rebels against embattled President Bashar Assad. By this time, al-Baghdadi already has begun to send fighters there.
    less
    Oct. 4, 2011

    The U.S. puts a $10 million bounty on al-Baghdadi's head over a series of attacks he orchestrated.

    July 21, 2012

    In his first purported online message, al-Baghdadi promises to regain lost ground in
    ... more
    Photo: U.S. State Department
    Image 41 of 43
    Oct. 31, 2010

    Al-Baghdadi's al-Qaida militants attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic church in Baghdad during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion there. The militants reportedly demand the release of Muslim women they claim were held by Egypt's Coptic Christian church.
    less
    Oct. 31, 2010

    Al-Baghdadi's al-Qaida militants attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic church in Baghdad during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003
    ... more
    Photo: Khalid Mohammed, Associated Press
    Image 42 of 43
    April 18, 2010

    U.S. and Iraqi forces kill two top al-Qaida in Iraq leaders, allowing al-Baghdadi to become the leader of a terror group weakened by a concerted campaign aimed at ending a Sunni insurgency in the country.

    Click through the rest of the photos to see a timeline of the Islamic State Group
    less
    April 18, 2010

    U.S. and Iraqi forces kill two top al-Qaida in Iraq leaders, allowing al-Baghdadi to become the leader of a terror group weakened by a concerted campaign aimed at ending a Sunni insurgency in the
    ... more
    Photo: Uncredited, HOEP
    Image 43 of 43
    Bashar al-Assad's Texas-sized victory against ISIS
    1 / 43
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    Imagine a war raging in central Texas, stretching eastward. San Antonio lies in the southwest of our fictional battlefield, Austin is 80 miles to the north, and Dallas sits 200 miles farther along the same highway, near the northwestern border. Houston does not exist as part of the conflict, lying just outside the southeastern border, and the northeastern edge of this war-torn country peeks into Louisiana and Mississippi.

    During this devastating conflict, many areas have fallen outside the government's control. Rebel groups have seized huge swaths of territory starting a few miles east of Dallas and progressing all the way to our country's eastern border. The rebels hold sway over dozens of towns, from Greenville, Texas (population: 25,557), all the way to their de facto capital in Shreveport, Louisiana (population: 200,327). With insurgents also seizing many villages to the west and south of Dallas, the government has lost control of roughly 75 percent of the country's territory.

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    Most Americans would understand intuitively how to win this war. The key is to capture the cities spread across the country's western spine: The metropolitan areas of San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas are home to over 10 million people, dwarfing the villages in east Texas and the scrub brush hinterlands of the Deep South. Control those three cities, and you can muster the resources to beat back a rural insurgency - or hold enough leverage to negotiate an end to the conflict on your terms.

    President Bashar al-Assad has grasped this strategy and is using it to thwart those who seek to topple him. Our fictional battlefield is, of course, a map of Syria grafted onto an American landscape: San Antonio lies roughly where Damascus would be, Austin stands in for Homs, and Dallas is Aleppo - the three largest, most prosperous Syrian cities before the war. The war has particularly devastated Homs and Aleppo, with many of the cities' residents fleeing abroad or to government-held areas around the capital or the coastal districts. But these urban centers still remain vital to Syria - and Assad has made significant progress in securing them, as his opponents squabble among themselves on the country's fringes.

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    International attention on Syria - along with Western coalition airstrikes - is now focused on the struggle for a string of small cities northeast of Aleppo. Assad's enemies in the region - the Islamic State, the pro-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and Turkey-backed rebels - are fighting one another on a battlefield extending from the town of al-Bab to the Euphrates River.

    Major news outlets have taken to describing the SDF-held town of Manbij as "strategic" during this new wave of fighting. Manbij - which boasted a prewar population of 75,000, similar to Longview, Texas - had never before been described as strategic in the five-year course of the Syrian war, according to a Nexis search. Perhaps journalists have awoken to the town's importance, or perhaps they have manufactured its "strategic" nature to convince readers of their article's significance.

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    If you happen to be a resident of Manbij or a neighboring village, of course, the town is indeed strategic. The area is also significant to the Islamic State due to the border with Turkey, and to the Kurds as a pathway to unite the areas under their control. In terms of determining who wins the larger struggle for control of Syria, however, its importance is marginal. In our American battlefield, it corresponds roughly to the area between the Texas towns of Farmersville and Cooper - a 45-mile stretch of land that traverses a few small villages, much like its Syrian counterpart.

    Assad long ago relinquished control over many of the Syrian equivalents of Farmersville and Cooper. Instead, he has poured his resources into shoring up his position in Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo. The stretch of land connecting these three cities, and running through the predominantly Alawite coastal areas that constitute Assad's strongest base of support, forms what some analysts have termed "useful Syria."

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    It's not only Syria's population center, it's the country's economic engine. Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, estimates that 10 million of the 16 million Syrians still in the country reside in government-controlled areas centered on this stretch of land. Most of the power stations that supply the country with electricity are between Damascus and Aleppo, as Chatham House analyst David Butter helpfully points out, while the refineries that supply fuel to government-controlled areas are around Homs. Good province-level data on the Syrian economy is hard to come by, but the Syrian Bureau of Statistics does have prewar statistics that suggest the majority of the country's private industrial facilities also existed in this area.

    Assad's strategy is beginning to bear fruit. The loyalists' most notable success has been in Damascus, where pro-government forces have combined a massive barrel-bombing campaign with starvation sieges to beat rebel groups in the capital's suburbs into submission. Two weeks ago, the rebel-held suburb of Daraya surrendered to the government after a punishing four-year siege. In May, loyalist fighters capitalized on rebel infighting to capture key agricultural land in East Ghouta - potentially paving the way for even worse starvation when winter comes. The government also appears to have successfully contained any threat from Yarmouk Camp, a settlement for Palestinian refugees near the capital, which has been racked by the Islamic State's infiltration and a stifling government siege.

    The trends in Syria's other main cities are also moving in the loyalists' direction. Pro-government forces, which long ago forced the rebels' surrender in Homs, this week resumed their bombing of the city's besieged suburb of al-Waer. The opposition fighters there are negotiating a deal that would see them withdraw from the area. The coastal governorates of Tartous and Latakia remain firmly in the government's hands, and the rebel offensive in the south has faltered badly. The news from Aleppo is also bad for the anti-Assad fighters: On Sunday, loyalist forces re-imposed a siege on rebel-held areas of the northern city.

    None of this is to suggest that Assad should rest easy. These gains have been possible only with massive Russian and Iranian intervention, and there is every reason to believe Assad could fall if Moscow or Tehran were to dial back their support. Assad also risks Russia and Iran taking steps in Syria that are beneficial to their own strategic interests but harmful to his authority - as arguably just occurred when President Vladimir Putin neglected to use his air defenses in Syria to thwart Turkey's incursion in the north.

    Assad should also be concerned about his faltering grip over the Syrian forces fighting on his side. Tobias Schneider, in a persuasive article for War on the Rocks, details how the long war has eaten away at Syria's state institutions. The armed forces have crumbled, he argues, replaced by local militias that engage in criminal enterprises, smuggling, and destructive infighting on a scale that the government is too weak to control. It is these armed thugs, Schneider argues, who truly hold sway in "government-held" Syria - not Assad himself.

    Assad faces increasing threats to his authority from his domestic and international allies, even as the constellation of "pro-Assad" forces makes progress in beating back the armed insurgency. Translated to our imaginary Texas battlefield, he has increasingly succeeded in securing San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas and transforming the conflict into a struggle for ancillary towns like Greenville or Longview. It is possible that Kurdish or Turkey-backed forces will hold on to these outlying towns and villages, even as their ability to threaten Assad's grip over the rest of the country grows increasingly illusory. The Syrian president could well lose this war, but he is making it very difficult for rebel forces to win.

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