Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Marked drop in ISIS attacks in Iraq, Syria

Tuesday 02/May/2023 - 08:46 PM
The Reference
Aya Ezz

Both Iraq and Syria have witnessed a remarkable security transformation in recent years.

This transformation came after the collapse of ISIS which lost most of the territories it used to control in the two countries.

According to the International Coalition against ISIS, the number of attacks carried out by the terrorist group in both Iraq and Syria decreased significantly in the first months of 2023, compared to the same period last year.

This coincides with efforts by the joint Iraqi-Syrian Kurdish forces and the international coalition to track down the remnants of the organization and undermine its military and logistical capabilities.

Nevertheless, ISIS still poses a security threat in some rural and remote areas, exploiting the political and security vacuum in them. It uses this vacuum to sow chaos and fear.

Notable decline

The International Coalition against ISIS confirmed that the number of ISIS attacks in Iraq and Syria decreased significantly during the first months of this year, compared to the same period last year.

Coalition Commander, Gen. Matthew MacFarlane, said on April 24 that these attacks were relatively limited.

The organization, he said, could not coordinate or organize anything at a broader level during this period.

He at virtual press briefing that the Islamic month of Ramadan was the quietest in years.

He added that the number of ISIS attacks went down by 80% in Iraq and 37% in Syria, compared to the same month last year.

Gen. MacFarlane pointed out that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which run the al-Hol camp in north-eastern Syria, which contains about 50,000 ISIS family members, have deported over 1,300 prison inmates since the beginning of 2023.

Guerrilla war

Syrian political activist, Nabil Arafat, said ISIS' loss of its last stronghold in Baghouz in eastern Syria in March 2019 precipitated its collapse.

"However, reality has it that the group has resorted to guerrilla warfare and increased its dependence on sleeper cells," he told The Reference.

He added that these sleeper cells carry out sporadic attacks in different regions of Syria, especially in the desert.