New Statesman: Mosul Has Fallen, But Islamic State Is Far From Defeated

The Islamic State held Mosul for only a short period, entering in July 2014. Waging battle since October 2016, a coalition of troops has resumed control of what was once Iraq’s second largest city. “Yet the battleground defeats by the Iraqi army and the US-led Western coalition (which includes the UK, Germany and France), as well as Kurdish forces, have done little to dent the triumphalism of the jihadists,” warns Shriaz Maher for the New Statesman. Mosul is in ruins, and Maher explains that the Islamic State emphasizes extremism over actual outcomes – including the loss of more than half the territory the group once held in Syria and Iraq at the height of its power. ISIS assesses followers based on what lengths they will go for the cause, conditioning fighters to welcome death: “success is defined through the exertion of effort alone.” Fighting continues in Raqqa, and ISIS is surrounded. Growing numbers of jihadists have fled, allowing leaders to identify the most hard-core extremists. Maher concludes that ISIS will take advantage of any fragmentation throughout the region in its goal to establish a religious caliphate that few desire. – YaleGlobal

New Statesman: Mosul Has Fallen, But Islamic State Is Far From Defeated

After Mosul: Despite deep losses, ISIS insists that its fighters triumph because of effort and embrace of the most extreme methods for their caliphate cause
Shiraz Maher
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Read the article.

Shiraz Maher is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and a senior research fellow at King’s College London’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.

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