ISIS – The Rise of Terror is a 2 hour special that looks at the origins of the terror group, their game changing tactics and even interviews an unrepentant ISIS fighter.
Barely a day goes by without reference to ISIS, DAESH or so-called Islamic State featuring on a news slot or newspaper front page. The group have carved out a large swathe of Syria and Iraq as part of their goal to create a Caliphate under a strict interpretation of Islamic laws.
Indeed the recent presedential campaign saw both candidates talk about the ISIS problem with Donald Trump promising to defeat them and blaming President Obama for the rise of the group.
However, as with all thing in the Middle East the truth is often elusive and blurred. With groups merging and disbanding and people joining the cause for a multitude of reasons.
The show also examines their asymmetrical tactics and how they has changed how modern western forces operated against them. We’ve seen the rise of increasingly heavily armored personnel carriers as suicide bombers and roadside bombs have become ubiquitous in both Iraq and Syria.
Western powers have not been keen to have their troops engage on the ground due to the high possibility of casualties from their often suicidal tactics and the complex nature of the conflict. Plus many would say that is exactly what many ISIS leaders want, an apocalyptic confrontation with the west.
ISIS have also waged a sophisticated media campaign, often taking it directly into people’s homes via social media. They’ve deliberately provoked reaction by carrying out barbaric acts such as apocalyptic confrontation, burning downed pilots alive and of course beheading hundreds of prisoners whilst they are still alive.
They’ve also engaged in the provocative destruction important cultural objects like archaeological sites, saying many represent false idols. Though they have also been pragmatic and sold many of these on the black market, instead of destroying them.
The documentary also interviews a former-ISIS fighter who is unrepentant and thinks the beheadings are justified.
Other commenters include generals, intelligence officers, victims and government officials.
With Putin building up forces in Syria and the Iraqi army putting them under pressure in Iraq, the problem might not be defeating them in the Middle East but stopping them from then increasing their activity in Europe and the U.S.
Watch ISIS – The Rise of Terror at 9 PM on History.