A nice, straightforward interactive graph of the current pattern of alliances and support in the Middle East… well, as nice and straightforward as possible….
“The Islamic State, or Daesh, once again showed its ability to surprise observers by its swift capturing of the Iraqi provincial capital of Anbar, Ramadi. But should it have been a surprise? Arguably, no. Should we be surprised by further moves by Daesh to continue to extend the reach of their self-proclaimed Caliphate? The answer, again, has to be no.
Why is this the case? Firstly, as has been well-documented, the very DNA of Daesh is built upon consolidating its hold on territory already under its dominion, and to expand the Caliphate in an ever-growing initiative that would, at its end, be global in scope. The leader of Daesh, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is clearly some way off achieving this final aim but, for now, he has plenty of opportunities to continue his strategy of expansionism in the chaotic world that is the present-day Middle East.”