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Different translations for Iraqi militant group

June 13, 2014

There are different translations for the name of the al-Qaida splinter group that has led the charge among Sunni extremists who have seized territory in northern and western Iraq. The name in the original is the Islamic State of Iraq and “al-Sham” — an Arabic word that refers to Greater Syria or the Levant. So it is alternately referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL; or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS; or other versions of “al-Sham.” However it’s translated, the name refers to the group’s stated goal of restoring an Islamic state, or caliphate, in Iraq and a region stretching from southern Turkey through Syria to Egypt on the eastern Mediterranean.

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