The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a hardline jihadi group blasted by al-Qaeda for being too extreme, launched a surprise offensive in Iraq earlier this month and easily captured the country’s second largest city.
The group is known for its unabashed brutality and public touting of graphic executions, and has now started making a bold push toward the capital, Baghdad. Its end goal? Creating an Islamic caliphate stretching across Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
See below for a map of Iraqi cities that ISIS has conquered so far and cities that the Sunni Islamist militants are still fighting to control.