Scientific analysis, research papers, and day-to-day coverage have overlooked an important determinant of the ISIS phenomenon – rising regional inequalities in access to services and resources and the marginalization of large segments of the Iraqi and Syrian populations. With the attempt to spot the light on this issue, researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut and the Aix-Marseille University conducted a study entitled “Regional Inequalities in Maternal and Neonatal Health Services in Iraq and Syria from 2000 to 2011."
In the study, Dr. Sawsan Abdulrahim and Dr. Marwân-al-Qays Bousmah, analyze regional inequalities in access to maternal and neonatal health services in Iraq and Syria during the period 2000–2011, before the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS. Notwithstanding the importance of colonial interests and global political agendas, the researchers propose that regional inequalities was a “threat multiplier," further fueling sectarian bloodshed in Iraq and civil war in Syria. Inequitable economic policies and disinvestments in the public sector in both countries resulted in increased unemployment among young men in peripheral regions, thus facilitating their recruitment as ISIS fighters.