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In 2014, the Islamic State became an international terrorist threat when it seized large territories
of Iraq and Syria.
One of the group’s greatest and most surprising gains was Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul.
Roughly two years later, ISIS has lost about half of its territory in Iraq, and US-backed
forces have launched an operation to retake Mosul, which experts say could mark the beginning
of the end for the jihadist group.
So why is Mosul so crucial for ISIS?
Well, it’s important to note that the Islamic State’s power is almost entirely predicated
on land.
The terror group’s goal is to overthrow governments and wage war until they secure
a global caliphate.
They’ve been able to fund their operation largely through robbing banks, taxing and
extorting the local population and stealing natural resources like oil.
But the terror group has already lost much of its income sources due to US-led airstrikes.
So today, controlling large populations is especially important to their bottom line.
This is one of the main reasons ISIS needs Mosul.
Before the war, the city was home to about 2  million people, whom the terror group
has taxed heavily, extorted and enslaved.
As the city’s de facto government, ISIS was able to tax residents on everything from
electricity and water to pharmaceuticals and bank withdrawals.
Although Mosul’s population has fallen by roughly half since the group took over, losing
control would still be a financial disaster.
The Islamic State also needs Mosul for strategic reasons.
The city is a trade hub surrounded by Syria, Iran and Turkey, and is crucial to ISIS’
movement of weapons, soldiers and supplies.
For instance, the group was reportedly able to move soldiers between Mosul and its primary
stronghold in Syria, Raqqa[RAH-kah].
But losing Mosul would cut off that route forcing the group to contain most of its operations
in Syria.
Also closeby are some of Iraq’s most vital oil fields and pipelines, from which the group
extracts and sells the resource.
Mosul is also the center of ISIS’ chemical weapons operation.
Since April 2015, the terror group has been using a chemistry lab at the University of
Mosul to build peroxide-based chemical bombs and suicide-bomb vests, not unlike those used
in the Paris and Belgium attacks.
ISIS chemists either give these weapons to their fighters directly or teach them how
to build their own weapons abroad.
But perhaps most importantly, Mosul is crucial to the group’s legitimacy.
The Islamic State’s takeover of the city in 2014 signaled to the world that they were
a serious threat to large populations.
What’s more, the group positioned itself as a de facto government, which set them apart
from other terror organizations like al-Qaeda and gave them more leverage in recruiting
fighters from around the world.
The city is also a cultural hub of Iraq, as it is home to historical sites and countless
works of ancient Islamic art.
Seeing the destruction of these antiquities was central to ISIS’ goal of establishing
itself the new rulers of the arab world.
The operation to retake Mosul was originally slated to take months, however it’s reportedly
progressing faster than expected, with experts already predicting ISIS’s certain defeat.
But as The US, Iraq and its allies close in, hundreds of ISIS fighters are reportedly fleeing
to the group’s other controlled territories in Syria, namely the city of Raqqa.
US officials have hinted toward launching a similar campaign to overtake Raqqa, if they
do, experts say it will almost certainly lead to the group’s long-awaited collapse.
Mosul is the Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq, as the group has already
lost about half its territory in the county.
But how exactly does losing territory hurt ISIS?
Find out more in this video at the top.
And if you want to learn more about the ways ISIS makes its money, watch our video at the
bottom.
Thanks for watching Seeker Daily!
Don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos every day.
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読み込み中…

The Battle For Mosul Could End ISIS. Here’s Why

68 タグ追加 保存
BH 2016 年 12 月 18 日 に公開
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