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ISIS or ISIL

SKIP BROWN/NGS Image Collection

SKIP BROWN/NGS Image Collection

Cathie Vink, Staff writer

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ISIS, ISIL and The Islamic State. All of these names are used to refer to the extreme terrorist organization in Iraq.   Many in the Western Hemisphere are wondering what is the difference between these groups.  Many people know this group as just ISIS, due to the media’s influence, Barack Obama refers to the group as ISIL, and the group refers to themselves as The Islamic State.  If all three of these are the same, why are they given different names?

When the group first started it set up as Islamic State covering parts of Syria and Iraq.  this is where the name The Islamic State stemmed from.  This happened in 2014 when the current leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had made the declaration of the new territory of the Islamic State.

ISIS stands for The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and al-Sham, this name came into circulation about two years ago.  this is name name used by much of the American media.  Al-Sham translated means “greater Syria”.  The goal of the group is to restore the Islamic State.

ISIL, the term used by Barack Obama and a select number of American journalists and media outlets, stands for the Islamic State and the Levant.  politicians say they use this term because it is more accurate to refer to this region as the Levant rather than Syria.  President Obama referred to the region as Syria when he announced the airstrikes, he now has no choice to refer to the region as ISIS in order to be consistent with his choice of name.  NGS Picture ID:1032257

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ISIS or ISIL