2014-08-05washingtonpost.com

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."

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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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