- US-backed forces cleared the remaining ISIS fighters from Raqqa
- But the fight is far from over: ISIS is transforming from a territory-controlling “quasi-state,” to an insurgency
- Its fighters will still perpetrate suicide bombings, and encourage lone-wolf style attacks in Western countries
US-backed forces on Tuesday cleared the remaining Islamic State, or ISIS, forces from Raqqa, Syria, the group’s de facto capital since it was first captured four years ago.
Losing Raqqa, and the majority of its territory in Syria, is a major victory for the anti-IS coalition, but it’s not the end of the terrorist group. It rather marks a transformation from a “quasi-state,” to an insurgency, Hassan Hassan, a journalist who has covered ISIS since the group’s inception, wrote in The National on Wednesday.
At the height of its power — when it controlled both Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria — ISIS posed a much stronger, and more credible threat to the US and Western countries, Hassan wrote. Now, backed into a corner, ISIS is operating like an insurgency, relying on guerrilla tactics like sniper fire, highly-mobile ambush units, and suicide attacks.
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