The statement was brief and direct. ISIL announced its planned expansion into Deraa, demanded cooperation from rebel groups in southern Syria and threatened anyone daring to stand in its way.

ISIL already dominated the north, east and west, the army of president Bashar Al Assad was being broken, and US-led efforts to destroy the group through airstrikes and arming of proxy forces would fail, the statement boasted.

“We call on you [the sons of Deraa], and address you heart to heart to stand by us and we warn everyone who directs his gun on other mujaheddin that they will be shamed and disgraced,” the statement said. […]