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Focus on militant group Islamic State

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Focus on militant group Islamic State


To learn more about the latest developments in Iraq, euronews spoke with Hasni Abidi, an expert on the Arab world.

We asked Mr Abidi about the militant group Islamic State.

euronews: Who is this organisation and where are their funds coming from?

Hasni Abidi: “This organisation is the successor to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It was created in 2006 by Al-Qaeda in Iraq and its representative Moussab al-Zarqaoui.

“He was then succeeded by al-Baghdadi who announced that his organisation had become independent. The Islamic State is a grouping of several organisations which are trying to find the ideal environment in which to flourish.

“They have their own sources of income thanks to the weapons recovered during battle, there are also ransom demands and other activities, such as the robbery of a bank in Mosul where the organisation recovered almost 500 million dollars.

“The group has also taken advantage of the Syria-Iraq border to attract many supporters.”

euronews: “How do you explain Washington’s decision to intervene at this point with strategic targetting while the Islamic State’s offensive has been underway for two years?”

Hasni Abidi: “The American decision was the right one, but it came too late. And the question here is why the international community is only waking up to this issue now?

“For some time now there have been calls for the international community to act to protect Iraq and its communities, especially the minorities: Iraqi Christians who have no recourse to military force to protect themselves as the Sunnis and Shiites do. And despite all of these calls, the international community barely lifted a finger.

“Following on from his speech Barack Obama can help the Iraqi government. Baghdad hopes to use the precarious situation of Iraqi Christians in order to gain access to American aid.”

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