ISIS Wave Is Turning into a Ripple

(New York Times) Ben Hubbard - Analysts say the days of easy and rapid gains for Islamic State jihadists may be coming to a close in Iraq, as the group's momentum appears to be stalling. The international airstrike campaign has clearly played a role, forcing the group to overhaul its operations. Bases and hospitals have been evacuated and moved to civilian homes that are harder to identify and bomb. Fighters who used to cross the desert in convoys now move in small groups or by motorcycle. ISIS thrives in poor, Sunni areas that have lost their connection to the central state. But the Islamic State has taken most of these areas in Iraq, while failing to seize areas with non-Sunni populations. In Syria, the group also faces resistance from rival rebel groups. Moreover, strikes on oil wells and refineries run by the Islamic State have undermined its economic base.

2014-11-06 00:00:00

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