Watch US Airstrikes In Syria

The U.S. military Tuesday released videos of the first airstrikes targeting militants in Syria. U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of operations in the Middle East and West Asia, uploaded videos to YouTube showing some of the strikes, which hit a storage facility, vehicle staging ground and an Islamic State group compound, among other targets.…



ISI is born: Abu Ayyub al-Masri, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, announces the creation of the Islamic State in Iraq and taps Abu Omar al-Baghdadi as its leader. The group seeks to claim territory and establish a modern Islamic, theocratic state.


Syrian Civil War Begins: Unprecedented pro-democracy protests against Assad erupt into a full-fledged military conflict. Supported by Iran and Hezbollah, pro-Assad forces face off against various rebel groups. Meanwhile, the Islamic State group is at war with both sides. So far, more than 190,000 people have been killed in the fighting, with millions more displaced.


ISIS is born: the Islamic State in Iraq announces that it has absorbed Syrian militant group Jabhat al-Nusra. The combined group is known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, as well as ISIS or ISIL.



Obama compares ISIS to a “JV” team: Asked about the threat posed by ISIS — a resurgent offshoot of al Qaeda — Obama tells the New Yorker that the fledgling group is not a major threat.

“I think the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant. I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian,” Obama said.


ISIS Offensive: In an unprecedented offensive, Islamic State militants seize control of vast tracts of territory in eastern Syria and Western Iraq, including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and Tikrit. The group’s leaders announced the official formation of a new caliphate, bereft of state borders, but no nation on earth recognizes it.

Aug. 8

Obama authorizes targeted airstrikes against ISIS: Weeks after sending 300 additional military personnel to Iraq, Obama announces that he has approved “targeted airstrikes” against the group if U.S. forces in the region are threatened.

Aug. 19

ISIS Beheads James Foley: The Islamic State releases a video which depicts the execution of American journalist James Foley. A masked man threatens to behead another hostage, American journalist Steven Sotloff, if Obama does not cease his campaign to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq.

Sept. 2

ISIS Beheads Steven Sotloff: “I’m back, Obama,” declares a masked Islamic State militant before the brutal execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff. Again, the man threatens Obama over U.S. military action against ISIS in Iraq.

“Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knives will continue to strike at the necks of your people,” the militant said.

Sept. 10

Obama Vows To ‘Degrade and Destroy’ ISIS: The President addresses the nation, stating that the U.S. military has a plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. Obama condemns the organization as neither Islamic nor a state.

“ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim,” President Obama said. “And ISIL is certainly not a state. … It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates,” he said.

Sept. 13

ISIS Beheads David Haines: ISIS beheads British aid worker David Haines, marking its third execution of a Western-born civilian. This time, the masked man targets United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, over his policy of arming Kurdish forces to combat ISIS in Iraq.

“This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the peshmerga against the Islamic State,” the executioner said. He threatens to execute another British citizen, Alan Henning, if the U.K. continues to act against the Islamic State group.

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