By the end of the month the group had announced a caliphate straddling the Iraq-Syria border.
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"Watch enough government television and pretty soon you would decide there is not a single member of Isis in the country," said one observer.
The political geography of Iraq was changing before its people's eyes and there were material signs of this everywhere.
Discarded uniforms and equipment were found strewn along the roads leading to Kurdistan and safety.
The flight was led by commanding officers, some of whom rapidly changed into civilian clothes as they abandoned their men.
It may be that the Shia will react in kind, but so far the killings have largely been of Shia by Isis.
Isis described its military strategy as "moving like a serpent between the rocks", in other words using its forces as shock troops to take easy targets but not getting dragged into prolonged fighting in which its fighters would be tied down and suffer heavy casualties.In the refinery town of Baiji local people said that Isis had been going from house to house asking for the names of married and unmarried women, sometimes demanding to see ID cards, which in Iraq specify marital status.They explained they were doing this because their unmarried fighters wanted to have wives.Given that Isis may have had as few as 1,300 fighters in its assault on Mosul this was one of the great military debacles in history.Within two weeks those parts of northern and western Iraq outside Kurdish control were in the hands of Isis.Many of the armed men who started appearing in the streets of Baghdad and other Shia cities were Shia militiamen, some from Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a splinter group from the movement of Shia populist and nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.