Syrian rebel factions are claiming “broad” numbers of defections by ISIS fighters, and Pentagon officials are talking up the worsening morale among the self-described caliphate’s recruits, while predicting the less disciplined portions of their forces are going to be in full retreat soon.
These, and claims of huge losses in territory formerly held by ISIS, present a picture of the group being in dire straits. Despite this, ISIS seems to be able to launch major counterattacks, and bombings across the frontlines in both Syria and Iraq.
This has been a common theme in wars the US is involved with, and the Pentagon often claims big progress in conflicts, which doesn’t seem to be borne out by the situation on the ground. Analysts are warning that the group’s capability of launching attacks both in the battlefield and abroad remains intact.
And indeed, as ISIS continues with its usual suicide attacks, the growing number of chemical weapons attacks are looming large, and despite the US capturing a person believed to be the “mastermind” of the program, it appears ISIS remains capable of carrying out chemical attacks. ISIS is reported to have a significant stockpile of chemical-capable shells to keep that program active for a long time.