115 people killed and a major gas factory blown up in Iraq makes for a busy week for ISIS, but to hear US officials talk, it’s a “sign of weakness” and proves that ISIS is “on the defensive,” even though that is literally the opposite of defensive operations.
US special envoy Brett McGurk is leading the rhetoric on bragging about how bad ISIS is doing, reiterating false claims of ISIS having shrunk “50%” over the past year, and insisting that the bombings are all the group can do.
The claims of ISIS territory losses don’t line up with the maps, as the only real loss ISIS has had in Iraq in recent history is Ramadi, a city very close to Baghdad and on the fringe of their territory. They still control Fallujah, however, which is right next to Ramadi.
Percentages aren’t particularly informative on territory lost in Iraq at any rate, with much of the Anbar Province, where virtually all the fighting is, empty desert. Arbitrarily assigning the desert to ISIS then assigning it back to Iraq, it seems, is where the big shift happened.