Map of ISIS’ control in Syria and Iraq based on information from Long War Journal.
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The jihadist takeover of Iraq's second city Mosul and a swathe of other northern territory brings the extremists closer to their goal of carving out a cross-border Islamic state, analysts say.The offensive by jihadists, spearheaded by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), is a significant blow to the Iraqi government and highlights the weakness of its security forces, who will struggle to retake the lost territory. Anbar, south of Nineveh, is another province where anti-government fighters hold areas including all of one city and part of a second. Jihadists also hold significant territory in eastern Syria. The operations showcase ISIS' strength, he said.Mosul is a far larger city, and retaking it and other areas that have recently fallen to jihadists will pose a major challenge for Iraq's security forces, which face significant shortcomings in training and discipline.
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