top of page

War Against Islamic State (ISIS) 2014 - 2023

The War Against the Islamic State (ISIS), a major global conflict, unfolded from 2014 to 2019 and centered around defeating the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as ISIL or Daesh. In June 2014, ISIS declared a self-proclaimed caliphate encompassing parts of Iraq and Syria, aiming to establish an Islamic state under its radical interpretation of Islam. This marked a turning point, as the group's territorial expansion and brutal tactics, including mass killings and propaganda dissemination through social media, garnered international concern. A coalition of countries led by the United States commenced military operations against ISIS in September 2014, employing air strikes, supporting local ground forces, and leveraging regional partners to counter the threat.

Key events during the conflict included the fall of key cities like Mosul and Raqqa, which ISIS had captured during its territorial expansion. The international coalition's military efforts, coupled with the determination of Kurdish fighters and Iraqi security forces, led to the gradual reclamation of these territories. The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2019 marked a significant blow to the group's leadership. Throughout the conflict, the international community grappled with the complexities of coordinating military actions, navigating regional politics, and addressing the broader ideological appeal of ISIS.

Significant persons involved in the War Against ISIS included U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, who oversaw different phases of the conflict. Military commanders from the coalition countries, as well as intelligence agencies, played crucial roles in planning and executing operations. Regional actors, such as the Kurdish forces and Iraqi military, also made significant contributions on the ground. The war prompted discussions about the ethics of military intervention, strategies for countering extremism, and the implications of dismantling ISIS's territorial control for long-term stability in the region.

The timeline of major battles and events during the War against the Islamic State (ISIS) (2014-2019):

2014:

Rise of ISIS (Throughout 2014): 

The Islamic State (ISIS) emerged as a powerful extremist group, seizing large areas of Iraq and Syria and declaring a self-proclaimed caliphate.

Battle of Kobani (September 2014 - January 2015):

Kurdish forces, supported by US-led coalition airstrikes, defended the Syrian city of Kobani from an ISIS assault, marking a significant setback for the militant group.

2015:

Battle of Ramadi (May 2015 - December 2015):

Iraqi security forces, supported by US-led coalition airstrikes, recaptured the city of Ramadi from ISIS after months of intense fighting.

2016

Battle of Fallujah (May 2016 - June 2016):

Iraqi forces, with coalition support, liberated the city of Fallujah from ISIS control, symbolizing a major victory in the campaign against the group.

2017

Battle of Raqqa (June 2017 - October 2017):

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an offensive to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS's self-declared capital.

2018

Final Push against ISIS (Throughout 2018):

The coalition intensified efforts to retake remaining ISIS-held territories in Syria and Iraq, leading to the group's territorial losses and a significant decrease in its capabilities.

2019

Fall of the Last ISIS Stronghold** (March 2019): 

The last remaining territory held by ISIS, the town of Baghouz in Syria, was liberated by the SDF, marking the end of the territorial caliphate.

bottom of page