DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:50 P.M.) – Despite suffering a series of territorial setbacks across Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State’s media department appears to be somewhat unaffected and continues to produce material on a daily basis.
The footage below, an ISIS release covering recent clashes in western Iraq, shows jihadist militants preparing for hit-and-run raids and carrying them out against the predominately Shiite ‘Popular Mobilization Units’ (PMU) in the desert of northwestern Anbar, causing some casualties in the process.
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Within the last six months alone, the Iraqi Army and PMU have declared full victory in Mosul, Tal Afar, Al-Ba’aj, Hawija and Al-Qaim, thus expelling ISIS from all its strongholds in Iraq.
Effectively, ISIS has been pushed back to a sparsely populated desert corridor along the border with Syria. This pocket of territory is expected to be eliminated before the beginning of 2018, thereby ending the Islamic State’s three-year long reign of terror in the country.
However, ISIS militants are still active behind enemy lines and continue to conduct suicide bombings in Baghdad while sleeper cells are known to be active in a handful of provinces, most notably Babil, Kirkuk and Diyala.