ISIS in Iraq: A shadow of its former self

Rudaw reports: A picture of a diminished Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq is emerging from recent reports and statistics.

As Peshmerga and Iraqi troops prepare for a major offensive to retake Mosul and loosen ISIS’ grip in Iraq, indications are that the terrorist group have all but conceded defeat.

In the last week alone, ISIS has suffered mass desertion and executed dissenters while a captured militant described the group as “weakened.” Experts believe that many of the leadership have relocated to Libya, leaving dwindling numbers in Iraq and Syria.

United States defense statistics released earlier this month indicate that the number of ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria had fallen to between 19,000 and 25,000, down from earlier estimates of up to more than 30,000 fighters.

It is suspected that ISIS, commanders especially, are seeking safety in Libya. [Continue reading…]

Rudaw also reports: Members of the Islamic State (ISIS) have started moving their families out of Mosul in anticipation of an Iraqi, Kurdish and coalition attack on the city, said a local official.

Member of the Nineveh provincial council Khalaf al-Hadidi told Rudaw that the group has begun sending families and children out of Iraq and to other Arab countries in the region.

Al-Hadidi who maintains contacts inside the city said that many ISIS families have gone to Libya and the Egyptian Sinai. [Continue reading…]

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