We asked New Yorker staff writer Dexter Filkins to talk with us about ISIS, how it compares to Al-Qaeda, the power it now has in Iraq and Syria, and how it’s war is beginning to destabilize neighboring countries.
Here Filkins gives some context about the divisions in the Middle East:
"The modern Middle East was formed really, all but on the back of an envelope after World War I. You had the Ottoman Empire, ruled out of Istanbul, which governed most of the Middle East, collapsed after World War I and the British and the French basically just took out the pen and started drawing the borders and those are the borders we have today and they don’t represent much of anything other than the whims of the colonial powers at the time. They’re not aligned with tribal identities or religious or sectarian or ethnic groups or mountains or rivers or anything. I mean, look at Iraq. It’s a bunch of straight lines drawn with a ruler."
Photo by Lynsey Addario/NYT