via the Huffington Post
by Nick Wing and Carina Kolodny
Over the past few months, the Islamic State, an al-Qaeda offshoot formerly known as ISIS, has mounted a brutal campaign in Syria and Iraq that has allowed it to expand its ranks and win large swaths of new territory. With the stated goal of establishing a Sunni caliphate — or an Islamic state governed by a religious figurehead — the insurgent group’s fighting has taken a heavy toll on Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority, as well as a number of minority groups, including Kurds and Christians.
While reports of the Islamic State carrying out mass executions, placing heads on fence posts and imposing harsh religious restrictions have sparked concern across the world, they haven’t elicited military involvement until now. Over the weekend, U.S. warplanes began bombing Islamist fighters following an announcement by President Barack Obama that he had authorized airstrikes to prevent “genocide.”
In light of the recent news, here’s an update on the militant group by the numbers:
The number of square miles thought to be under Islamic State control, a stretch between Syria and Iraq that is roughly the size of Belgium. Other estimatessuggest the Islamic State controls an area closer to 35,000 square miles, or roughly the size of Jordan.
The number of people killed in Iraq in June, according to government figures, making it the deadliest month since May 2007. Official figures report 1,393 civilians, 380 soldiers and 149 policemen among the dead. Another 2,610 people were wounded, the majority of them civilians.
30,000 – 50,000
The number of militants now fighting with the Islamic State, according to a recent estimate by Dr. Hisham al-Hashimi, an expert on the group. Many former Iraqi Army soldiers have been forced to join and others have been recruited from around the region and beyond.
The number of nations with which the Islamic State has engaged in direct fighting. In an effort to expand its holdings, insurgents have attacked soldiers from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey this summer alone. The group is currently pursuing a large offensive against the Syrian Arab Army in the northeast of the country, snatching up large quantities of munitions from military bases.
The approximate value of the Islamic State’s cash and assets, according to estimates from terrorism experts. In the midst of its most substantial campaign in June, Islamic State fighters captured the city of Mosul, looting hundreds of million of dollars from banks and acquiring hundreds more in military assets from the Iraqi Army.
The estimated daily revenue of the Islamic State, from its oil and gas resources alone. Fighters with the group have taken control of oil and gas fields across northern Iraq and Syria, and it “now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations,” according to Janine Davidson of the Council of Foreign Relations.
The number of high-profile jailbreaks carried out by Islamic State forces in the past several months, which led to the freeing of at least 1,500 insurgents, likely including leaders, bomb makers and other militants, according to reports. In an apparent response to these incidents and widespread brutality by Islamic State fighters, Human Rights Watch accused Shiite militia members and other Iraqi Army soldiers last month of having illegally executed at least 255 Sunni prisoners in at least five different massacres.
The number of openly practicing Christians thought to be left in the city of Mosul, where the Islamic State has made Christianity punishable by death. While it’s impossible to know if Islamic State militants have actually chased every Christian out of the city, recent reports suggest that all remaining Christians had fled Mosul.