ISIS Turning to Mass Casualty Attacks, Expanding Network Amid Territorial Losses

The Islamic State’s territorial losses in Iraq and Syria have been hailed by the Obama administration as evidence that the terror group is failing, but experts predict that the group will continue to instigate large-scale attacks in the Middle East and westward.

According to a report from IHS Jane’s 360 released on Sunday, the terror group’s so-called “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria shrunk by 12 percent during the first six months of 2016 and is now roughly the same size as Ireland or the state of West Virginia. ISIS will increasingly turn toward mass-casualty attacks, the report suggested, to compensate for territorial losses in Iraq and Syria and demonstrate its influence.

The new assessment came one day before Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the deployment of 560 more U.S. troops to Iraq, where Iraqi security forces backed by U.S airstrikes retook Fallujah from ISIS control at the end of June after a month-long offensive. Over the weekend, Iraqi forces took control of Al-Qayyarah air base, located about 50 miles south of Mosul.

“With the retaking of Qayyarah West airfield, the Iraqi Security Forces have once again demonstrated a serious will to fight,” Carter said Monday. “I congratulate them on their recent successes and reaffirm that the United States, along with our coalition partners, will continue to do all we can to support Iraq’s effort to serve ISIL a lasting defeat” . . .

ISIS’ recent territorial losses have been accompanied by a series of mass-casualty attacks in various parts of the globe that evidence shows were either inspired or committed by the terror group. These include high-profile assaults in Dhaka, Istanbul, Orlando, and Brussels. (Read more from “ISIS Turning to Mass Casualty Attacks, Expanding Network Amid Territorial Losses” HERE)

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