When Donald J. Trump campaigned for President, the media mocked him for saying he was going to decimate ISIS.
“We’re gonna beat ISIS very, very quickly, folks. It’s gonna be fast. I have a great plan. It’s going to be great. They ask, ‘What is it?’ Well, I’d rather not say.”
But one year into the Trump administration, the facts on the ground—in Syria and Iraq—have changed dramatically. ISIS lost control of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, in July 2017. Three months later, ISIS’ capital—the Syrian city of Raqqa—fell. Many fighters retreated to Deir ez-Zor in the country’s east. In November 2017, that too fell. The ‘Caliphate’ that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced with such fanfare in the summer of 2014 was in tatters.
“We have made, alongside our coalition partners, more progress against these evil terrorists in the past several months than in the past several years,” Trump proclaimedlast fall.
President Trump deserves credit for hastening the downfall of their Caliphate. However, the war is not over. The threat has mutated and will continue to mutate. ISIS 2018 will launch an insurgency in its former territory. While the loss of the “Caliphate” damages the ISIS brand, it maintains sufficient cachet to inspire attacks abroad. ISIS also has options for alternative safe havens that could allow it to recover. Even outside physical domains, ISIS has access to electronic spaces where it can continue recruitment efforts.
Therefore, the Trump administration should celebrate the progress they have made but also accept that a huge amount of work lies ahead in the next three (or seven) years. The military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies will be at the forefront of the response. Yet stopping ISIS from presenting itself as a credible government in areas where it still retains a presence is also an important task. In those areas, the United States must help promote responsive and representative governance. – The Heritage Foundation
One Iraqi terrorist and expert bomb maker just helped make the Trump administration’s job a little easier…
According to the American Military News, An Iraqi terrorist, who had a reputation for being a bomb expert, died on Monday when a bomb that he was constructing blew up.
Abu Moaaz, a bomb maker for ISIS, was manufacturing explosives in central Iraq, about 15 miles north of Baqubah when the explosion took place, The Daily Mail reported.
He had recently supplied ISIS numerous explosive devices that were used to kill many people, including law enforcement.
“The IS bomb expert, codenamed as Abu Moaaz, was one of the most dangerous terrorists and he was wanted on several terror charges,” the source told Baghdad Today website.
— Iraqi News – Iraq (@IraqiNews_com) October 29, 2018
He lost his life while trying to manufacture explosive charges in al-Waqf basin, 25 km northeast of Baqubah.
Abu Moaaz was implicated in making bombs, which left several policemen and civilians dead over the past months.