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ISIS Strengthening Despite US’ Claims of Overrunning Last Territory

Marking victory for all humanity, US forces announced overrunning the last ISIS deployment in Baghuz, last month. The scenario though has taken a turn once again, with a report released on Friday alleging ISIS’ resurgence gaining momentum, especially across Iraq and Syria.

“ISIS is expanding its support zones and scaling up its attack campaign in key cities including Ar-Raqqa City, Mosul, and Fallujah as well as rear areas in Northern Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan,” said the report from the Institute for the Study of War, a non-partisan DC-based think tank that studies defense issues.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took control of the last territory, however, even at that time the alliance announced that some militias managed escaping, and that the clashes still continue.

The SDF transferred more than 55,000 women and children captured by the militia group to the Al-Hawl Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Northern Syria near the periphery of Syria and Iraq.

“ISIS likely intended to exploit this displacement to infiltrate, destabilize, and recruit from the camps in order to create opportunities for its resurgence,” the report said. “Hardcore female followers have attacked guards and other displaced persons and burned the tents of less committed families since entering the Al-Hawl IDP Camp. ISW has thus mapped the camp as both an attack and support zone,” it added.

The number of attacks by the militia group near the areas of SDF in Northern Syria have significantly increased in recent past, targeting two primary sections of the ground line of communication between Deir ez-Zour Province and Hasaka Province in Eastern Syria.

Also, after the US President Donald Trump announced that his military-men had overrun the last known territory, ISIS also released a retaliatory audio recording. In their voice record the group affirmed that the issue was far from settled and their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was still alive.

Though it cannot be denied that global influence of ISIS is following a downward trajectory, but the number of people influenced by their doctrine, is still significantly high. However, a major fall in their revenue from around $970-1,890m in 2014 to $520-870m in 2016, has dented their hopes of once again controlling areas as vast as 88,000 Sq. Km.

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