The end of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) caliphate that once expanded across vast swathes of two countries is within reach now that the jihadists lost the last-remaining city under their control in Syria and its final stronghold in Iraq along the border.
“Frankly the tempo of our operations is going to reduce as Daesh [ISIS] are beaten in Iraq and in Syria,” conceded Air Commander Johnny Stringer in charge of Britain’s contribution to U.S.-led air coalition against the Islamic State, reports the Telegraph.
ISIS’s so-called caliphate had “all but disappeared,” declared the commander.
However, he indicated that “it was now likely to morph into an insurgent organization.”
On Friday, Iraqi military forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition air power and Iran-allied Shiite militias, led the offensive to defeat ISIS in al-Qaim, described by the Daily Mail as the last bastion in Iraq near its border with Syria.
Meanwhile, forces loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, assisted by Iran-backed Shiite militias and Russian air support, pushed ISIS out of Deir Ezzor on the Syrian side of the international boundary.
ISIS’s so-called “caliphate” was depleted to ruins after the jihadist group was forced out of its remaining strongholds in Iraq and Syria—most recently al-Qaim and Deir Ezzor, respectively, notes Daily Mail.
Echoing other analysts, Maha Hosain Aziz, an expert from New York University, cautioned that as it feels its defeat closing in, ISIS will change tactics and may even try to join forces with other jihadists, including its alleged enemy al-Qaeda. full story