Mosul has represented the epicenter of the “Islamic State” (IS) hold on north-western Iraq. Its liberation epitomizes a defining moment in the anti-IS campaign and an important victory for Baghdad. Still, it cannot be considered the “silver bullet” able to eradicate IS from the “land of the two rivers”. In the last 15 years, the group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has demonstrated again and again an incredible resilience that allowed it to survive multiple deadly blows and to regenerate, each time giving birth to spawns deadlier than their predecessors. In order to understand challenges and opportunities related to the fall of Mosul, the essay briefly outlines the evolution of the movement founded by Abu Mus‘ab al-Zarqawi and the reasons that allowed it to re-emerge from its ashes in 2010. Particular attention is dedicated to the unique selling points embraced by the “Islamic State” in terms of internal organization, relations with the Iraqi social fabric, and message, as well as to the reasons that pushed it to elect the Jazira region as the epicenter of its bid over Syraq. Such a choice was based on a series of factors rooted in the past of an area that maintained a significant internal coherence despite having been divided by the Syrian-Iraqi border. The last part of the chapter focuses on IS future moves in Iraq, outlining the status of its remaining strongholds, the options at its disposal, as well as a series of countermeasures that could prove determinant to avoid its full-scale resurgence in the “land of the two rivers”.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteAfter Mosul: Re-Inventing Iraq
Numero di pagine31
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • ISIS
  • Iraq
  • Islamic State
  • Mosul
  • Stato Islamico
  • iraq
  • jihadism


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