The armed movement, which has surged in wealth, manpower and resources in recent weeks, also just took the town of Wana on Sunday, according to The Washingon Post`s Loveday Morris. The Islamic State routed a once-proud Kurdish army and forced an exodus of residents the United Nations said numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Calling the situation a "humanitarian tragedy," a top U.N. envoy to Iraq said in a statement that their expulsion was "dire."


But it's not just the land itself. It's what the land holds that suggests the true extent of the Islamic State's power. It "now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations," wrote defense expert Janine Davidson of the Council of Foreign Relations. She added: "Should [the Islamic State] continue this pattern of consolidation and expansion, this terrorist `army' will eventually be able to exert a destabilizing influence far beyond the immediate area."

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