Short of global sway, ISIS wants how much now?....
We hear of IS (Islamic State), ISIS (Islamic State Iraq & Syria) and, now, ISIL (Islamic State in the Levant). Levant is a geographic term familiar to historians & scholars, but to few others. Partly this is due to an elastic definition that has changed over time.
One would not use Wikipedia for a scholarly article. But Wiki's Levant page offers an outline of the geographic variances. The complex politics, economics, cultures and civilizations embodying those elements we'll have to skip.
A broad current definition embraces, at least the littoral area (coastal regions) of Turkey (the Anatolia region), Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus and the Palestinian territories. In the 16th century "Levant" was considered to extend across the entire eastern Mediterranean, all the way to the east coast of Italy. In the 19th century travel writers used it to refer to the coastlines of the Mideast, while archaeologists focused on myriad cultures spanning several millennia. The most restrictive definition limits "Levant" to the French post-World War I mandatory countries for 1920 - 1946: Syria & Lebanon.
This latter definition appears most useful for foreign policy purposes, because Turkey's relevance to the Mideast stems from the Ottoman Empire (1300-1918); Cyprus's geostrategic significance includes Greece as well as Turkey, from its 1974 de facto partition; Jordan is landlocked and Palestinian areas are not a country, though Gaza could someday qualify via its access to the Meditteranean.
Bottom Line. Geostrategic fielder's choice.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Foreign Policy, National Security, Conservative Politics