CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ ISLAMIC STATE, AN ACTOR THREATENING PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST 2. Reflection on the Islamic state as a de facto régime or a terrorist organization Considering the way it was established and also the way it presents itself, we can ask a question about the character of the Islamic state. First we have to consider if it is “solely” a terrorist organization comparable to such organizations as Al- Qaeda, from which it in fact arose. On the other hand, we can consider it as a formation which dominates a certain territory and has the ambition to become a state. As the name indicates this is the intended objective. First we shall concentrate on evaluation of the Islamic state as a nascent so called de facto régime , which is a formation which has the ambition to establish itself as a state. The development so far indicates that the Islamic state differs from other terrorist organizations in its territorial dimension, which is one of the features of a state. The Islamic state was proclaimed in 2014 on the conquered territories of Iraq and Syria, and the caliphate was proclaimed on the same territory. The Islamic state self-proclaimed itself a state. It uses extreme violence as a means 17 on the conquered territory. Professor of international relations Walt wrote an article in relation to this entitled ‘What Should We Do If the Islamic State Wins’, where he uses the term “group” for the Islamic state. He claims that the IS stood its ground in the sense that after more than a year of the US military campaign the Islamic state still controls large territories in Syria and Iraq. He adds that just the military strategy without an effort for political reconciliation which would offer an alternative power to estranged Sunnites will not be enough to defeat the Islamic state. As the Sunnites who live under the Islamic state (group) do not see any viable alternative and especially not in the return of the governments of Iraq and Syria. 18 Sunnites in Iraq are enemies of the government; similarly in Syria in relation to the government of president Asad. Considering the statehood features of the Islamic state there is a certain ideological base , 19 an effort to return the land which was illegally expropriated from Muslims by the Crusaders and colonial powers. The Islamic state even uses for its propaganda purposes the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, which divided the territory of the former Osman Empire between France and Great Britain. This hundred years old agreement also referred to the territory of current Iraq and Syria. “End of Sykes- Picot“ is the title of a video which the Islamic state launched two years ago. It says “we shall never recognize the borders between Iraq and Syria”. 20 The Caliphate, which was proclaimed in 2014, converted this previous statement into reality. It is necessary 17 ARANGO, Tim. ISIS Transforming Into Functioning State That Uses Terror as Tool. The New York Times. Accessible at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/world/middleeast/isis-transforming-into- functioning-state (Viewed 2 November 2015). 18 Ibid . 19 MARCH, Andrew, F., REVKIN, Mara. Califhate of Law. ISIS Ground Rules. Accessible at: http:// www. Foreignaffairs.com/articles/syria/2015-04-15/caliphate-law (Viewed 2 November 2015). 20 Blízký východ dodnes zatěžuje sto let stará koloniální dohoda. Právo 16. 5. 2016.