A view of the world from Ohio
Islamic State, facing the inevitable, moves the goal posts
The Islamic State of the Levant is under siege in both Iraq and Syria. Iraqi army and militia are battering the outskirts of Fallujah, with the city – the site of the most brutal fighting of the Iraq war – surrounded on all sides. Mosul is under attack from the east by Iraqi Army with U.S. advisor support, and from the west by Kurdish Peshmerga.
Its situation is similarly desperate in Syria. An effort to cross the Turkish border ended with 40 members of the terror group killed by U.S. and coalition airstrikes two days ago. In response to the incursion, coalition forces attacked several arms depots, killing more militants and destroying several rocket launching platforms.
With a caliphate once the size of Great Britain becoming cramped, it’s time for a rah-rah halftime speech, boost the morale of the troops, or pull the opposite of a Knute Rockne, which is the case of Mohamed al-Adnani.. Let’s read the IS official spokesman in his own words:
“You think defeat is the loss of a city or a land? Were we defeated when several cities of Iraq were taken away from us and we went to the desert? Will we lose if you control Mosul, Raqqa and other cities that were previously controlled by us: Definitely ‘no,’ because defeat is only the loss of the wish and will to fight.”
Continuing, if leader Al-Baghdadi dies? Not a loss. If ran out of Syria? Not a loss. The U.S (oddly singled out) can only win by ripping the Quran from the hearts of Muslims, whatever that means. Given IS recruits the non-religious to its apocalyptic cause as a matter of policy, obviously the final portion of the radio call-to-arms wasn’t aimed at its own troops, but begging for help.
The days of bragging about its vast empire, of erasing the arbitrary boundaries of Sykes-Picot, of converting millions and mocking Western society by murdering journalists on social media, are slipping away.
The terror group is coming to terms with its own future. A future without oil revenues to increase its forces, where Syria shrinks upon them. Where Sunni sympathizers can’t throw them cash at will. Where rival Al-Nusra is considered a higher threat in the northern Levant as IS recoils to Aleppo.
The latest radio message is more desperate than al-Adnani’s plea weeks ago, begging lone wolves to seek out targets wherever they can in the U.S. and Europe, even civilians if a military target can’t be attacked.
IS is heavily entrenched in Mosul, and other cities. Taking it out won’t be easy, won’t be without defeats or losses, but it’s happening and no one knows it more than the Islamic State itself.