The End of the Caliphate?
Republic of Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic (November 25, 2017) – After multiple years of ongoing battles in Iraq and Syria, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is now in danger of being militarily extinguished from its base of operations.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is now cornered and retreating into the vast deserts surrounding the Euphrates River. After a year of operations, the warring parties in Syria and Iraq have achieved and fortified massive swaths of land, namely the Syrian Arab Army, YPG, Peshmerga, Iraqi Armed Forces, and their respective Allies. Haider Al-Abadi, Prime Minister of the State of Iraq, says: “We finished Daesh militarily in Iraq and liberated our towns and cities. This is an Iraqi victory, made by the Iraqi people. We thank all those who supported Iraq and stood by us during our battles of liberation”.
After the fall of Islamic State strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul, very few would disagree that the extremist group is now finished. Although IS continues to grow in Syrian provinces of Daraa, Hama, and Idlib, it is extremely unlikely that the group will successfully flourish given the fact that the group is now losing support after the continuous losses in their former strongholds.
In Iraq, IS has been expelled from all major cities and towns, including the recently captured cities of Rawa and Al-Qaim of the Anbar Governorate. All which remains in the hands of IS are the deserts of Anbar, which Iraq has already begun operations in. Results include 56 captured villages and several SVBIEDs destroyed, west of Baiji, Iraq.
In Syria, IS has lost its former stronghold of Al-Bukamal and Deir ez-Zor. While the group still maintains its presence along the Euphrates Bank, it is unlikely that these positions will last in the coming future. The group maintains limited presence across Syria, including in the capitol city of Damascus. The Kurdish factions have also pursued heavy gains against the militant group in the East Euphrates bank, with rewards of capturing most of Syria’s oil refineries.
Prime Minister of Iraq Haider Al-Abadi states on verified social media: “We will soon announce the end of military operations in the western desert, secure our borders and declare a day of victory for all Iraqis whose sacrifices made this historic achievement possible”.
Even after the fall of Islamic State de facto capital of Raqqa and ongoing military defeat, bloodshed may continue in the two countries through sleeper cells and hidden training camps in the near future.