International military intervention against ISIL  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In response to rapid territorial gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during the first half of 2014, and its universally-condemned barbarity, reported human rights abuses and the fear of further spillovers of the Syrian Civil War, many states began to intervene against it in both the Syrian Civil War and the Iraqi Civil War (2014–present). Later, there were also minor interventions by some states against ISIL-affiliated groups in Nigeria and Libya.

In mid-June 2014, Iran, according to American and British information, started flying drones over Iraq, and, according to Reuters, Iranian soldiers were in Iraq fighting ISIL. Simultaneously, the United States ordered a small number of troops to Iraq and started flying crewed aircraft over Iraq.

In July 2014, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Iran sent Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft to Iraq, and Hezbollah purportedly sent trainers and advisers to Iraq to monitor ISIL's movements. In August 2014, the US and Iran separately began a campaign of airstrikes on ISIL targets in Iraq. Since then, fourteen countries in a US-led coalition have also executed airstrikes on ISIL in Iraq and in Syria.

In September 2015, Russian forces, with the permission of the Syrian government, began hundreds of bombing raids against ISIL, al-Nusra Front, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Since the airstrikes started, ISIL has been losing ground in both Iraq and Syria. There have been multiple accounts of civilian deaths from the airstrikes. In mid-2016, the US and Russia planned to begin to coordinating their airstrikes, however, this coordination did not materialize that year.

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