World focus: ISIS is down but it is not out yet

The 'caliphate' is no more as the proto-state declared by ISIS has been reduced to a mere scrap of land in the Syrian town of Baghuz. But while the group is down, it is not yet out for the count. Arvind Jayaram tracks its rise and fall, and the threat it still poses.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's (ISIS) self-proclaimed "caliphate" in the Middle East is on the verge of collapse, but the threat posed by the terror group, known for its depravity and cruelty, still persists.

The group began as a faction that splintered from Al-Qaeda in the chaos after the United States invasion of Iraq and was originally known as the Islamic State in Iraq. But ISIS rapidly surpassed its predecessor to emerge as the world's deadliest terror threat, with loyal support from extremists around the world.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2019, with the headline 'ISIS is down but it is not out yet'. Print Edition | Subscribe