Suadad al-Salhy
December 11, 2013

In Iraq’s western desert near the Syrian border, in a landscape of sand and rock, a signpost announces that you are entering Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

A short video of the sign was broadcast on jihadist websites last month and reflects a long-held goal of Al-Qaeda fighters to establish an Islamic emirate.

ISIS insurgents have increased attacks on strategic targets in parts of western Iraq in the past three months in a bid to make their putative state a reality, security officials and analysts say.

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