Despite the release of its caliphate to US-backed forces last month, ISIS resurgence continues to gain momentum across Iraq and Syria, a new report said Friday.
"ISIS is expanding its support zones and scaling up its attack campaign into key cities including Ar-Raqqa City, Mosul, and Fallujah as well as rear areas in Northern Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan, ”said the report from the Institute for the Study of War, a non-partisan DC-based think tank that analyzes defense issues
The Syrian Democratic Forces seized the last terrain controlled by ISIS in Syria on March 23 – an area including a network of caves and tunnels housing thousands of suspected fighters, their families and others, the report said. ] The SDF more than 55,000 women and children captured in the operation at the Al Hawl Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Northern Syria near the Syrian and Iraqi Border, the report said.
“ISIS likely intended to exploit his displacement to infiltrate, destabilize, and recruit from the camps in order to create opportunities for its resurgence, ”it said.
“ Hardcore female followers have attacked guards and other displaced persons and burned the tents of less committed families since entering the Al-Hawl IDP Camp. ISW has thus mapped the camp as both an attack and support zone. "ISIS has also ramped up its campaign targeting the rear areas of the SDF in Northern Syria.
In ISIS ISR is reestablishing" a support zone "near Baghdad and Southern Iraq have their operations in Anbar Province.
“ISIS is working to rebuild its networks in Northern Babil Province. ISIS likely to use this zone to project force into Baghdad and south towards soft targets in the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, "the report said.
When the last territory controlled by the terrorists was liberated in March, President Trump declared that their territory the US-backed forces had "liberated all ISIS-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq — 1
But military brass and national security officials, while hailing the recapture of the occupied territory, warned that the ISIS would regroup and remain a potent worldwide threat.