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ISIS, a shorthand name for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has made news in the past few months for its dramatic military conquest of Iraqi territory, its ruthless treatment of Iraqi minorities such as the Yazidis, and a string of videotaped beheadings of Western hostages, including two United States journalists covering the civil war in Syria.
The situation in Iraq and Syria is complex, to say the least. It presents a continuing humanitarian crisis, with millions of people fleeing for their lives, and hundreds of thousands being killed. It presents a threat to Middle East stability, with ISIS promising to create an Islamic caliphate, or state, erasing modern borders and imposing its own version of fundamentalist law. Furthermore, ISIS presents an unknown threat to the larger world, including the United States, with the militant group beheading international hostages and recruiting jihadists from across the globe.
In this lesson, from The NYT Learning Network, students will analyze videos, maps, graphs and images related to ISIS, and then discuss how the United States and the world should respond to ISIS’ rise in Iraq and Syria. We also offer additional background information and links to Times resources for further research.
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