ISIS is regaining ground in regions where they were previously squelched by U.S. forces under the administration of former President Donald Trump in what experts warn should be a “wake up call.”
On Tuesday, an attack on a Syrian prison where militants, including whole families, led to the largest confrontation between Syrian and U.S. forces and ISIS fighters in three years as The New York Times reported.
The same day, fighting involving ISIS soldiers broke out 150 miles away in Rasafa.
Meanwhile, as fighters were storming the Syrian prison, one-quarter of which is now under ISIS control, ISIS fighters in Iraq stormed an Iraqi military base, killing 11, in the deadliest such attack in years.
Just last month, ISIS fighters kidnapped four Iraqi hunters, including a police colonel. In a gruesome video reminiscent of the height of the militant group’s reign of terror across the region, the fighters beheaded the colonel.
“The evidence of a resurgence of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is mounting by the day, nearly three years after the militants lost the last patch of territory of their so-called caliphate, which once stretched across vast parts of the two countries,” the Times noted. “The fact that ISIS was able to mount these coordinated and sophisticated attacks in recent days shows that what had been believed to be disparate sleeper cells are re-emerging as a more serious threat.”
“It’s a wake-up call for regional players, for national players, that ISIS is not over, that the fight is not over,” warned Kawa Hassan of the Stimson Center, a D.C. think tank. “It shows the resilience of ISIS to strike back at the time and place of their choosing.”
This comes in the wake of Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban in August, which many fear could empower the reorganization of ISIS and Al Qaeda.
ISIS-K, an offshoot of ISIS, took responsibility for the deadly Kabul blast that killed 11 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans amid the chaotic crush to evacuate the country after the Taliban took control.
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