The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, IPA /ˈaɪsᵻl/), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria[note 1] (ISIS, /ˈaɪsᵻs/), Islamic State (IS), and by its Arabic language acronym Daesh (Arabic: داعش dāʿish, IPA: [ˈdaːʕɪʃ]), is a Salafi jihadist unrecognised state and militant group that follows a fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam. ISIL gained global notoriety in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive, followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.
This group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and many individual countries. ISIL is widely known for its videos of beheadings of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, and its destruction of cultural heritage sites. The United Nations holds ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes, and Amnesty International has charged the group with ethnic cleansing on a “historic scale” in northern Iraq.