Yes, ISIS does receive a lot of attention in the media and during the presidential debates. But you might be surprised to learn that actually the organisation has lost a significant amount of territory lately. This BBC article details the territorial changes through a nice interactive map slider.
You could create a single map showing the losses/gains instead of using this light-duty interactive piece. And to the BBC’s credit they did. However, between the image quality and territorial changes, I think in this instance the interactive piece does add clarity to the story.
Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.
ISIS is still a threat to the Middle East, evidenced by the US announcing yesterday that it is intensifying strikes against the quasi-state in both Syria and Iraq. But just where has ISIS spread? And are its attacks spreading? This New York Times piece looks at just those two questions. The first through an obvious map.
What the map does is show you where ISIS has attacked around the world over all time. So yes, it has global reach. But the map alone cannot show you if things are improving or getting worse. For that you need a visualisation type that can plot things over time. And as aforementioned, the piece includes that as well.
Unfortunately, it appears that yes, ISIS is attacking or at least attempting to attack more targets in more countries both within and without the Middle East and its declared provinces.
Credit for the piece goes to Karen Yourish, Derek Watkins, and Tom Giratikanon.
Yesterday we looked at the Russian sale of advanced surface-to-air missiles to Iran. Let’s stay in the Middle East and look at one of the forces that Iran—among many others, the US included—is fighting: ISIS, or Islamic State. We all know it from its ruthless, zealous, brutal application of Islamic law to the territories it controls. But is the organisation itself really that “religious”?
Der Spiegel obtained documents in late 2014 that had been in the possession of Hajj Bakr, who had quietly outlined much of the structure of ISIS and how the group would function. The article is a thrilling read, if you are into these kinds of things, and depicts an ISIS different than what many would possibly suspect.
So why are we talking about it here? Because organisations require diagrams or flow charts of responsibilities. The folder of files that Spiegel obtained included just such things, and below is an example included in the article.
For those of you unaware, the United States became involved yet again in Iraq. This time, air dropping humanitarian supplies to Yazidi refugees near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. (Also, we have started bombing ISIS positions near Irbil, a large city in Kurdish-controlled Iraq.) In today’s post we have the Washington Post and its look at just what is going on around Sinjar.
Credit for the piece goes to Loveday Morris and Richard Johnson.