I think there is a bit of truth to this, although the shadow may still be enough to dominate the territory. This doesn’t mean that ISIS is being defeated. They are strong in Syria and are a major presence in Libya and Afghanistan.
ISIS in Iraq: A shadow of its former self
yesterday at 09:51
The remaining militants may have seen the writing on the wall and are willing to risk the threat of execution by deserting their posts instead of facing near certain defeat. AFP photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—A picture of a diminished Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq is emerging from recent reports and statistics.
As Peshmerga and Iraqi troops prepare for a major offensive to retake Mosul and loosen ISIS’ grip in Iraq, indications are that the terrorist group have all but conceded defeat.
In the last week alone, ISIS has suffered mass desertion and executed dissenters while a captured militant described the group as “weakened.” Experts believe that many of the leadership have relocated to Libya, leaving dwindling numbers in Iraq and Syria.
United States defense statistics released earlier this month indicate that the number of ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria had fallen to between 19,000 and 25,000, down from earlier estimates of up to more than 30,000 fighters.
It is suspected that ISIS, commanders especially, are seeking safety in Libya.
“Some of their members, especially those with long-term importance to ISIS, are taking refuge here [in Libya]”, intelligence chief of Misrata, Ismail Shukri, told the BBC. “They view Libya as a safe haven.”
Those militants left behind appear to be unskilled and afraid.
A volunteer bomb diffuser with the Peshmerga, Dr. Sulaiman Saeed, has observed a decrease in the quality of ISIS’ explosive devices. “A year ago, their bombs were being made by specialists,” he said. “But those we saw in [the recent liberation campaign in