A series of coordinated attacks in three cities in Syria and Yemen on Monday by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) provides important new insights into the group’s current capabilities and strategy, suggesting that the months ahead will be increasingly violent in the Middle East and perhaps further afield.
At least five distinct aspects of the Monday attacks should raise eyebrows and security concerns in many countries: their locations, simultaneity, logistical prowess, multi-country coordination and ISIL’s evolving strategy in its wider political-military context.
The most noteworthy aspect of the attacks was the combination of multiple, large-scale bombings in the political hearts of the Syrian and Yemeni governments, which both appear more vulnerable than assumed.
The Syria attacks of seven simultaneous suicide and car bomb attacks in the cities of Tartus and Jableh killed between 80 and 120 people, according to government and opposition reports.
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