What does ISIS want?

Refugees fleeing ISIS
Iraqi families who fled recent fighting near the city of Mosul prepare to sleep on the ground as they try to enter a temporary displacement camp but are blocked by Kurdish soldiers on July 3, 2014 in Khazair, Iraq.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria -- ISIS -- is a Sunni militant group occupying territories in both Syria and more recently, Iraq. Their numbers have made them a rival of al-Qaeda as the most powerful jihadist group in the world, and the United States has begun air strikes to attempt to counter their killings in Iraq.

Who exactly is this group, where did they come from and are they as powerful as their recent attacks would have us believe?

Two experts join The Daily Circuit to explain the motives behind recent ISIS violence.

Learn more about ISIS:

The Iraq-ISIS Conflict in Maps, Photos and Video
(New York Times)

Pressure Builds for an Attack on ISIS in Syria
(Slate)

U.S. Mobilizes Allies to Widen Assault on ISIS
(New York Times)

Why the U.S. Is 'Coming to Help' Iraq, Months After the Rise of ISIS
(New York magazine)

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