"It will help and hurt" the Islamic State, says Ramzy Mardini, a non-resident fellow at the Washington-based Atlantic Council.
Declaring a caliphate "creates uncertainty for the Sunnis that backed" the group, he
Mardini points out that IS
arrived in Mosul in early June with a limited force of around 2,000 fighters.
They were prepared to spring prisoners from the jails.
They didn't expect the Iraqi army
to collapse so quickly.
"They weren't prepared to take over a city of 2 million people," he
The caliphate, with deep religious symbolism that harkens back to the early days of Islam, is a recruiting bid to a wider audience, says Mardini
They need new blood," says Mardini
There is no incentive, says Ramzy Mardini
, as long as Maliki is still a contender for a third term in office.
Iraq's Sunnis are not yet willing to "take their foot off the accelerator," he
The Sunnis believe undercutting IS
now would lift the pressure on Baghdad.
But the longer IS remains unchallenged, the stronger is is likely to become, says Mardini