Why Doomed ISIS Will Lose Raqqa, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor in Syria?

Why Doomed ISIS Will Lose Raqqa, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor in Syria?
Tue Jun 14, 2016 13:11:16

ISIS remains a force to be reckoned with. Its terror caliphate once stretched from northern Iraq to eastern Syria, with major cities, large oil fields and key border regions still under militant control, but the group's power and its reach are significantly weaker than they seem on paper.

The unbroken expanses of territory under ISIS control are mostly empty desert," a team lead by analyst Omar Lamrani said in its latest report for Stratfor. "A look at the group's three core Syrian areas – northern Aleppo province, Raqqa and [Deir ez-Zor] – shows how the terrorist groups is steadily losing ground across its scattered, self-declared empire."

Things are not going well for ISIS in these regions.

The Syrian province of Aleppo is crucial for Daesh's survival since the terrorist group relies heavily on the steady flow of foreign fighters, weapons and supplies smuggled through Turkey.The majority of these routes have already been cut off by the Kurds, the few that remain (like the city of Manbij) are expected to be freed soon.

Furthermore, northern Aleppo is home to the village of Dabiq that, according to Daesh's beliefs, will see the final, apocalyptic battle take place.

In northern Aleppo, Daesh has been pressed from three sides. Damascus-led forces, assisted by Russian warplanes and their local allies have advanced from the south. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are pushing west across the Euphrates River, while rebels from the city of Azaz are advancing to the east. In addition, Turkey has shelled border regions from the north.

"But there is another loyalist offensive underway that, if it pans out, will pose an existential threat to the [Daesh's] northern Aleppo zone by completely cutting it off from the rest of the group's Syrian territory,"  the analysts said, referring to the offensive on the city of Tabqa, located on Lake Assad in the province of Raqqa.

If successful, this operation will cut the road linking northern Aleppo and Raqqa, the capital of the terror caliphate, Sputnik reported.


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