World

ISIS Threatens Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia

While ISIS makes advances in Iraq, most recently against Kurdish forces in the north, the jihadist group threatens all of its neighbors.

ISIS Threatens Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia
Twitter / @IS_Conquests
SMS

With each passing day, the Islamic State, formally ISIS, is becoming more and more of a threat, not only for the countries where it's currently active, but neighboring countries as well.

In Iraq, where the Sunni militant group has seized large swaths of land already, The New York Times reports they successfully routed Kurdish security forces from three northern Iraqi towns Sunday, forcing thousands to flee and capturing more territory.

While the Sunni militant group has made most of its advances in Iraq, it still poses a threat to Jordan to the southwest and Lebanon, which borders Syria to the west. (Via Vice)

The Beirut-based newspaper The Daily Star reported Saturday the Lebanese Army was attacked in Arsal, a town near the border of Syria.

​​The clashes are assumed to be part of an attempt to free a Lebanese prisoner named Imad Ahmad Jomaa who, The New York Times notes, can be seen pledging his support to the Islamic State in this video. (Via YouTube / قولوا لا اله الا الله​)​

And earlier in June, the Islamic State captured the only border crossing between Iraq and Jordan. Though it was driven back, the brief occupation proved to be a grim sign that the small pro-Western kingdom is not immune to the violence, either. (Via Al Arabiya)

The United Nations says that as many as 1.4 million people have been displaced this year in Iraq, including more than 230,000 Syrian refugees. Just on Sunday alone, the U.N. estimates that 200,000 people fled the northern regions recently taken by the Islamic State.

Now Saudi Arabia, which shares its northern border primarily with Iraq and Jordan, is starting to take precautionary measures against the Islamic State.

According to the The Times, the Saudis have asked both Pakistan and Egypt to help the Middle Eastern kingdom reinforce its porous border.

And Al-Monitor recently reported that an Islamic State defector told Saudi Arabia the militant group plans on heading to the kingdom after gradually leaving Syria.

But while it seems as if the Islamic State has made considerable gains these past few months, it's not all good news for the self-declared caliphate. Al Jazeera reported earlier this week that three Syrian villages were able to rise up and successfully drive out the militants after several tribal members were detained.