The topic of another Eastern Monitor, authored this time by Jonáš Vlk, was the Islamic State which, although territorially defeated, persisted.
The focus of the Islamic State after its territorial defeat in Syria and Iraq has shifted. The transformation of the Islamic State’s strategy does not come as a surprise. In fact, such a shift in tactics started to be apparent more than two years ago after the Iraqi forces captured the Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul in 2017. A model of global decentralized insurgency is increasingly followed by the organization. This was largely initiated by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s statement formally embracing extremist groups in Burkina Faso and Mali, in which he endorsed further terrorist acts carried out by groups pledging allegiance to the Islamic State as well.
All the global efforts aside, the human core of the Islamic State still remains in the Middle East. The insurgency continues in Syria and Iraq. There is a high risk of potential sleeper cells within the region as well. Specific territories such as Hamrin Mountains, Diyala Province, and the environs of Mosul, are still believed to be bases of the Islamic State’s remaining infrastructure, and the insurgents are getting on with the attacks, even though at a much slower pace.
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