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Pentagon Report: Islamic State Down But Not Out In Syria And Iraq
Islamic State Down But Not Out In Syria And Iraq: Pentagon Report
Also, Al-Monitor’s on-the-ground reporting on the security situations in Syria and Iraq, including the impact of the Turkish lira crisis on Idlib.
Islamic State ‘entrenched as low-level insurgency’
The most recent report from the Pentagon’s Inspector General on Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led diplomatic and military operation against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, indicates that IS has weakened but remains a priority for US national security interests in the region.
These quarterly reports provide the most comprehensive reporting and assessment of the US-led mission against IS and therefore deserve attention. Among the latest findings:
- The report makes clear that the United States and its coalition partners remain essential to the continued success of the mission.
- The Iraq-Syria border remains an area of concern for IS activity.
- Economic hardship, the COVID-19 pandemic and a devastating drought, especially in Syria, will continue to shape the environment.
- The Iraqi elections and the prospect for continued political stability and progress there is good news for Iraq and the anti-IS coalition effort.
- Iran-backed proxy forces and militias in both countries remain a threat to coalition forces and operations.
- Both the Iraqi Security Forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will continue to depend on US training and support in “conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), intelligence integration and airstrikes.”