MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – The so-called Islamic State is well-known for its extensive terrorist activity in Syria and Iraq. However, since the media use two different abbreviations, some confusion exists with respect to its correct name.
Essentially, both terms are correct and refer to the same group. ISIS stands for the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” or “Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham” which emerged two years ago as an offshoot of al Qaeda. The faction sees its mission as the establishment of a Sunni Muslim state comprising Iraq, Syria and other Middle Eastern countries.
The term ISIL is mainly used by the UN and the US State Department, since the Arabic word “Al-Sham” is translated into English as “the Levant”. Both terms refer to an area larger than Iraq and Syria, in which the group aims to expand its influence.
Thus, the abbreviations ISIS and ISIL are both correct. The first one is, however, more widely used in the media, because it has become better known since the establishment of the group. The latter is newer and is mainly used by some - especially American - politicians in order to underscore the Islamic State’s mission to occupy a wider area.