Just about every major media outlet uses “ISIS” as the abbreviation for the militant group intent on establishing a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq. However, the AP seems intent on creating confusion by correcting everyone with its own brand of “I know better than you”. We guess that settles it then:
In Arabic, the group is known as Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. The term “al-Sham” refers to a region stretching from southern Turkey through Syria to Egypt (also including Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan). The group’s stated goal is to restore an Islamic state, or caliphate, in this entire area.
The standard English term for this broad territory is “the Levant.” Therefore, AP’s translation of the group’s name is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
Read more: Is it ISIL or ISIS in Iraq?