The map below gives and indication of how successful they have been, and it is quite troubling given that sectarian killings are rising along with the groups influence.
The scariest part is not even highlighted: Next door in Syria, Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) administrates the largest rebel-held city, Raqqa, and fights to control the borders with both Iraq and Turkey.
“Establishing a geographical area comprising natural resources such as oil and gas and totally dominated by Sunnis is a priority for the [ISIS] in this stage,” a retired senior military officer who was responsible for making plans to combat al Qaeda told Reuters.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.