Over the last 24 hours, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has suffered its biggest setbacks since their inception in the armed conflicts in Iraq and Syria. The militant group was unable to maintain their vast array of offensives in Iraq and Syria; this was due in large part to their forces being spread too thin across both countries.
After months of besiegement and violent clashes, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – backed by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – has broken ISIS’ the volatile siege of Kobane (‘Ayn Al-‘Arab) on the border of Turkey in northeast Aleppo. The YPG – with the help of the Anti-ISIS Coalition’s persistent aerial bombardments – were able to sweep through ISIS controlled areas, forcing the militant group to retreat southeast.
Perhaps the most imperative ISIS defeat came in the Diyala Governorate of Iraq, where the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) regained control of the whole province after their fierce attacks inflicted heavy militant casualties. The ISF captured over a dozen villages in the last 48 hours, including the imperative cities of Miqdadiyah and Baqouba.
The Diyala Governorate is located north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and west of the Iranian border; it was crucial to secure in order to break the ISIS advance towards the capital. With Diyala safely secured, the ISF can now concentrate their freed-up troops towards the ISIS stronghold of west Al-Anbar, where their embattled comrades are attempting to recapture the remaining areas in the cities of Ramadi and Al-Heet.