UPDATE — 7/17, 3:29 p.m. EDT: In a Sunday interview on CNN, Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that recent terrorist attacks with apparent ISIS ties, although unconfirmed, shows the Islamic State is “desperate”.
Kerry also said that ISIS “is on the run” and “under huge pressure”. U.S. intelligence personnel have conversely posited the militant group is changing tactics and targeting largely unprotected places like airports and other high traffic areas.
“It’s not a sign of weakness or desperation. (ISIS is) adapting in a different way,” one U.S. official said.
When asked what else the U.S. could do to stop ISIS’ progress, Kerry pointed to Congress, who he criticized for having “absolutely zero willingness” to pass an military authorization bill.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 17, 2016
Forced to cede ground from the weight of relentless ground assaults from the Iraqi and Syrian armies and bedeviled from the air by endless U.S.-led coalition and Russian airstrikes, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is reportedly preparing for the fall of its remaining strongholds and being driven into insurgency.
In full retreat in both Iraq and Syria, the terror group has lost 45 percent of territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria from its peak in 2014.
Once in control of vast amounts of north and northwest Iraq and half of Syria, the group has been forced from most major cities in both countries and the movement now controls small swathes in each state, with its largest stronghold in northern Syria.
ISIS maintains control of its de facto capital, Raqqa, in Syria; however, the fall of Palmyra in March signaled the end is drawing closer for the depraved group.
Despite its fortunes at ebb, Western terror experts postulate the barbaric militants will endure in its mission to terrorize the West, Europe and the Middle East.
Experts point to an in increase in terror attacks, citing recent incidents in Paris, Ankara and Orlando, Florida, acts analysts say express hopelessness and double as verification the militant faction does not intend to pass into oblivion due to the loss of physical territory.
In addition to the expansion and intensification of terror attacks abroad, global terror experts also draw attention to intercepted ISIS dispatches which exposed orders demanding Internet cafes shuttered and the destruction of satellite dishes, televisions and radios to insulate the group’s final enclaves from the world.
“While we see our core structure in Iraq and Syria under attack, we have been able to expand and have shifted some of our command, media and wealth structure to different countries. We do have, every day, people reaching out and telling us they want to come to the caliphate. But we tell them to stay in their countries and rather wait to do something there,” says one anonymous ISIS militant.
Despite ISIS’ obsessional hatred, one which has only inured its opponents, it is not likely the Islamic army will disappear altogether. One of the most wicked groups known to modern man, it is to be expected ISIS will follow al-Qaeda, the Haqqani network and the Taliban into insurgency, but not quite Lethe.
[The Independent] [Military Times] [Institute for the Study of War] [BBC] [The Guardian] [Photo courtesy Business Insider]