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ISIS on Its Last Legs in Both Iraq and Syria

Sept. 7, 2017 (EIRNS)—The reality in Iraq and Syria today, is that ISIS is now on its last legs. In Iraq, ISIS has been driven out of the city of Mosul and, more recently Tal Afar. It remains mainly in western Iraq along the border with Syria. On the other side of that border, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), with intense support from Russian warplanes based in Latakia, has broken the three-year siege of Deir Ezzor after a slow but inexorable advance up the highway from Palmyra. Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, reported yesterday that during the course of that campaign the SAA liberated "4,800 square kilometers of territory, and militants have been forced out of 59 settlements." ISIS is still holding out in part of Raqqa, but its defeat there by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces is all but inevitable.

For all practical purposes, ISIS control has been reduced to a handful of villages along the Euphrates River, from just southeast of Deir Ezzor down to Al Qaim in Iraq. The military losses that ISIS has suffered in the course of the past several months of defeats from Mosul to central Syria, mean that it no longer has the military coherence to hold out much longer. ISIS is now no more than a shell of the Islamic State that ISIS leader Abubakr al Baghdadi proclaimed from the Al Nouri Mosque in Mosul as recently as July 2014.