The Militants in Iraq Threaten the Entire Middle East (and the U.S.)

A convoy of vehicles and fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant roll through Iraq's Anbar Province on Jan. 7.

In recent weeks, Sunni radicals have marched across Iraq, slaying security forces as well as civilians, and swiftly taking large swaths of land.
The militants, known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (or ISIL), have carved out territory from Syria to Iraq and declared a new Islamic state that pays no attention to existing boundaries.

Given the many Shiites in the region, the bloody ambitions of the Sunni militants threatens to further destabilize much of the Middle East. Below, we’ve broken down what’s at stake for the countries in the region beyond Iraq—as well as for the United States.

Video: What is happening in Iraq and why you should care

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