The Al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, Arabic الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام whose acronym is pronounced "Daesh"), launched on 6 June 2014 a large-scale attack on Iraq. After taking control of Fallujah, it has now seized the district of Nineveh (including the capital Mosul) and is pursuing its offensive in the provinces of Kirkuk and Saladin. More than 150 000 civilians have fled ahead of the jihadists’ advance.
On 10 June, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on parliament to declare a state of emergency.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on behalf of Prince Abdul Rahman al-Faisal, the brother of the current Saudi Foreign Minister and of the Saudi ambassador in Washington. He is funded and supervised jointly by U.S., French and Saudi officers. Over the past month, he has received new weapons from Ukraine, where Saudi Arabia has acquired a weapons factory, and via Turkey, which has created a special rail line adjacent to a military airport to supply the ISIL.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an Iraqi who joined Al-Qaeda to fight against President Saddam Hussein. During the U.S. invasion, he distinguished himself by engaging in several actions against Shiites and Christians (including the taking of the Baghdad Cathedral) and by ushering in an Islamist reign of terror (he presided over an Islamic court which sentenced many Iraqis to be slaughtered in public). After the departure of Paul Bremer III, al-Baghdadi was arrested and incarcerated at Camp Bucca from 2005 to 2009. This period saw the dissolution of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose fighters merged into a group of tribal resistance, the Islamic State of Iraq.
On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named emir of the ISI, which was in the process of disintegration. After the departure of U.S. troops, he staged operations against the government al-Maliki, accused of being at the service of Iran. In 2013, after vowing allegiance to Al-Qaeda, he took off with his group to continue the jihad in Syria, rebaptizing it Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In doing so, he challenged the privileges that Ayman al-Zawahiri had previously granted, on behalf of Al-Qaeda, to the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, which was originally nothing more than an extension of the ISI.
The ISIL is based in Syria, where it lays siege to the city of Raqqa, the only city whose population was unable to participate in the June 3rd presidential election (together with the Syrians residing in France and Germany).