I have been reading many things on ATS regarding the Islamic State or QSIS as many are referring to the organization now so as to not tarnish the name
I have come across many opinions which are based on facts which are literally wrong.
So I have taken it upon myself to presents facts, data and maps here to illustrate the situation and provide some context.
Please just look at the information and use it to further develop your view on the situation, whatever it be.
For the first map lets have a look at the entire middle east region through the lens of the Sunni-Shia divide
The map shows how:
- Iran is essentially a 100% Shia state.
- Southern Iraq is also almost 100% Shia.
- Western Syria + Lebanon are also very Shia dominated.
The next map is of the Territory currently controlled by the Islamic State
This map shows us that:
- The Qsis area of control corresponds EXACTLY to that area of Syria/Iraq which is sandwiched between the Shia dominated Iran, Southern Iraq & Western
- Qsis area of control is largely centered on Roads due to lack of air power in a desert region.
The next map is of the oil fields situated within this region
This maps shows us that:
- Qsis have seized control of essentially 100% of Syria's oil supply.
- Qsis have seized some fields in northern Iraq.
The next map is of a closeup view of the ethnic/religious makeup of Iraq.
This shows us that:
- Qsis control exists almost fully, but also ONLY in Sunni Arab areas of Iraq.
- Shia & Kurds make up the vast majority of the population of Iraq.
- The Kurdish region essentially forms a barrier to Islamic state expansion.
The Next map is of a closeup view of the current situation in Syria
The map shows us that:
- The Syrian government forces have effective full control of western Syria, all the Shia areas and Damascus.
- The Qsis area of control exists yet again only over Sunni areas of Syria, it is bounded by the Kurds in the North, as in Iraq.
- The Qsis area in which they are strongest is Ar-Raqqa & the Entire Euphrates river basin.
The Last map is of the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq.
This shows us that:
- Qsis have not penetrated the Kurdish regions of either Iraq or Syria.
- Qsis find it relatively easy to control areas in which Sunni Arabs are the dominant culture.
When we take all of the maps and consolidate all of the information to form a full picture certain facts emerge.
- The Area of QSIS control corresponds exactly to the Sunni populated area of the upper Euphrates basin & the Nineveh plain in northern Iraq.
- QSIS have not been able to take or control for any period of time any Shia or Kurdish areas.
- QSIS have managed to seize the entire Oil supply of Syria & some fields in Northern Iraq.
- QSIS do not control the desert but mostly roads and rivers due to lack of air power.
- QSIS Will probably not be able to expand any further because they will not attack turkey, they will not be able to hold Shia/Kurdish areas even if
they could take them due to massive hostility from the native population & they rule essentially all the Sunnis in the immediate contigous region.
Make of this what you will, I have presented facts and Maps, draw from this your own conclusions.