Islamic State reverting to insurgency tactics after losing caliphate

Published: 12th October 2018 12:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2018 01:08 PM  

Islamic State
Nearly defeated on the battlefields of its would-be caliphate, analysts say the Islamic State group has reverted to what it was before its spectacular conquests in 2014 — a shadowy insurgent network that targets civilian populations with guerrilla-style attacks and exploits state weaknesses to incite sectarian strife. (Photo | AP)
Syria
In Iraq and Syria, hardly a week goes by without the group staging an attack on a town or village, keeping its opponents on edge even as it fights U.S.-backed forces advancing on the last remaining slice of territory under its control near the countries' shared border. (Photo | AP)
Syria
Hisham al-Hashimi, an IS expert who advises the Iraqi government, said the group now operates like it did in 2010, before its rise in Iraq, which culminated four years later with the militants seizing one of Iraq's biggest cities, Mosul, and also claiming the city of Raqqa in Syria and declaring an Islamic caliphate across large areas of both countries. (Photo | AP)
Islamic State
While it fends off attacks on its remaining pockets in Syria, a recent surge in false claims of responsibility for attacks also signals that the group is struggling to stay relevant after losing its proto-state and its dominance on the international news agenda. (Photo | AP)
Iraq forces
Iraqi military spokesman Big. Gen. Yahya Rasoul said this week that security forces have begun a broad operation in the western province of Anbar that borders Syria to take out IS sleeper cells. (Photo | AP)
Islamic State
Analysts warn that this could be the beginning of a new resurgence of the group similar to the one that preceded their rise in 2010, after many thought the group's predecessor, the Islamic State in Iraq, had been defeated during the US surge there in 2007. (Photo | AP)
Syria
It's not clear how many militants are still fighting with IS. A United Nations report released in August said IS has up to 30,000 members distributed roughly equally between Syria and Iraq, and said its global network increasingly poses a threat. (Photo | AP)
Syria
The UN report said that despite the defeat of IS in Iraq and most of Syria, it is likely that a reduced 'covert version' of the militant group's 'core' will survive in both countries, with significant affiliated supporters in Afghanistan, Libya, Southeast Asia and West Africa. (Photo | AP)
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