Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) is designated as terrorist organization by U.N. and many countries in the world and there is no country and organization which is openly assisting this organization. But despite every difficulty and military operations by world powers and regional countries of Middle East, ISIL managed to take control of large area of Iraq and Syria. There are few important reasons behind the rise of ISIL.
· American policies in Middle East should be regarded as the main reason for birth and rise of ISIL. After US invasion of Iraq in 2003 over false allegations of WMD (weapons of mass destruction), ISIL’s parent organization JTJ (Jamaat al Tawhid wal Jihad), under the leadership of al-Zarqawi, started guerrilla warfare against US and became popular among regional Sunni Muslims due to their stiff resistance against US which helped them to increase their strength as large number of fighters join the group. On the other hand, U.S. remained inactive in Syria over the brutal killing of Syrian people by Syrian Army while America even stopped its invasion of Syria when Syria use chemical weapons against civilian while previously U.S. President had called it a red-line. Due to American policy, the Syrian war prolonged for years which helped ISIL to increase its influence and captured areas in Syria and Iraq.
· Sectarianism in Middle East is another main reason for rise of ISIL. From the start of guerilla warfare in Iraq, JTJ was conducting sectarian attacks on Iraqi Shias which resulted in the killing of thousands of people in Baghdad and other areas while they also targeted the holy places of Shia Muslims on several occasions. America successfully curb the militant activities of AQI with the formation of Awakening Councils (Sahwa) in Sunni Arab areas of Iraq in 2007 but the situation reversed in 2012 by the sectarian policies of Shia-dominated Iranian backed Iraqi regime of Nouri al-Maliki which forced the Arab Sunnis to remade an alliance with Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and the group was able to re-conquered the Sunni areas that they lost earlier.
· Policies of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was another important reason for reemergence of ISIS. Al-Baghdadi replaced the deceased religious leadership of ISIS with a more militarily expert leadership. He introduced many officers of former Iraqi Baath party in the military leadership of ISIL. Apart from that, other veterans of war also joined ISIL leadership. A prominent example is Abu Omar al-Shishani, a former member of Georgian Armed forces. These experienced members played a key role in the victories of ISIL in 2013 and beyond.
· Role of Sunni Arab countries is also regarded as an important factor behind the rise of ISIS. Many fighters in ISIS belong to countries like Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries while several wealthy people in these Arab countries are also helping ISIS financially. Critics of Arab countries say that either these countries are helping ISIS or turning a blind eye over recruitment and financial assistance of ISIS from their countries due to sectarian reason.