Inside ‘The Caliphate Army’: ISIS’s Special Forces Military Unit Of Foreign Fighters

“In the year since it declared its self-styled caliphate, the Islamic State group has marketed itself as a government, a judicial institution and a religious authority, but at its core it is an army with the capability of seizing and maintaining territory. Unlike many of its other functions, very little is known about ISIS’s military structure, and the secrecy speaks to its importance. The army has allowed the militant group to quickly recruit a new generation of fighters and amass territory, and to expand from one to at least 10 countries in the past year. Local fighters play a large role in maintaining territory ISIS controls within Iraq and Syria, while the constant influx of foreign fighters allows it to expand to new areas. ISIS’s military gains in the past year have boosted recruitment efforts, and local fighter presence within its many so-called provinces has created an environment of fear for civilians, assuring that its caliphate is adequately populated. Within the group’s shadowy military structure is an elite special forces division that runs parallel to the regular army. Sometimes called the Caliphate Army, its only priorities are to export the Islamic State abroad and defend it anywhere it may be under threat. ‘They are considered the strongest in ISIS,’ said Abu Mohammed, a spokesperson for the anti-ISIS activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently.”

Source: Inside ‘The Caliphate Army’: ISIS’s Special Forces Military Unit Of Foreign Fighters

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