While the administration continues to publicly tout their progress in the ISIS war in both Iraq and Syria, claiming that the Islamists are suffering massive territorial losses and major defeats on the ground, a growing number of US officials are warning that the group isn’t at serious risk yet.
Intelligence officials argue that the perception that ISIS is suffering some losses is costing them their “image of invincibility” among Sunni Arab groups, but that the reliance on Shi’ite and Kurdish militias might bolster the locals’ sense that ISIS is on their side.
The comments in many ways mirror a recent UN report on the ISIS war, which similarly concluded that the “setbacks” they are suffering on the ground aren’t amounting to much, and that the group remains in a strong position regionally.
The intelligence officials are further predicting that taking cities like Fallujah away from ISIS is easier said than done, because even if they “lose” those cities they’ll likely keep pushing the Iraqi troops in those cities, and preventing the military from retaining any meaningful control.
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