Syrian army liberates Deir al-Zour city, ISIS' last stronghold
03 Nov 2017
On November 3, the Syrian army reportedly "completely liberated" the city of Deir al-Zour from ISIS.
However, other reports said Syrian army and its allies are still clearing the last pockets of ISIS resistance in the city.
ISIS had been controlling the city since 2014.
Deir al-Zour, ISIS' last major stronghold in Syria, is strategically important due to its proximity to the Iraqi border.
Syria defeats ISIS but the threat is far from over
10 Nov 2017
Syria declared victory over ISIS recently after it captured Deir al-Zour, the last town under the group's control.
This comes after Iraq rejoiced over its victory against ISIS after pushing them out of Iraqi territory.
For the time being, this signifies the end of ISIS's territorial hold over the so-called caliphate it proclaimed in 2014.
Does this mark the end of ISIS? Read on.
The beginnings of ISIS: A terrorist organization or a state?
In 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the organization a caliphate.
ISIS soon started basing its operations out of the territory it captured in Iraq and Syria.
The world had seen widely networked global terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, but never one that operated like a state.
The ISIS leadership minted coins, traded in oil and issued identity-documents much like a state.
Military intervention against ISIS
At least 56 countries are involved in the military intervention against ISIS in various capacities. In Syria, anti-ISIS operations are being conducted by two rival factions: the Syrian army backed by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militias and a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias.
The defeat of ISIS in Syria: What happened?
ISIS militants had ferociously defended their important strongholds.
They were expected to put up strong defenses in the last few towns they controlled in the Euphrates valley but many fighters reportedly fled.
The loss of Abu Kamal, a crucial border crossing reportedly "sealed the fall of their in the region"
It is currently not known whether the last of the commanders surrendered or fled.
Does this mark the end of ISIS?
Despite recent setbacks, ISIS continues to prevail in the cyberspace.
It continues to pose a threat through supporters across the world who subscribe to its jihadist ideology.
A series of ISIS-inspired vehicle and knife-attacks across the west only seem to reinforce this threat.
ISIS may resort to guerrilla tactics while its top leadership regroups in preparation for a stronger comeback in Iraq and Syria.
Middle east: Will internal rivalries aid an ISIS comeback?
The recently held Kurdistan referendum which sparked a confrontation between Kurdistan government and Iraqi government appears to be the first sign of emerging discord among the anti-ISIS coalition in the middle east. The escalating rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia could further aggravate the situation.
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