Iraq moves to recapture Rawa, the last ISIS-controlled town
ISIS took a bad hit recently after they lost the towns of Deir al-Zour and Al-Qaim to Syrian and Iraqi forces respectively. Iraq is now launching an offensive to push the militants out of Rawa, the last ISIS-controlled town. A potential loss of Rawa could push ISIS to the verge of complete defeat in Iraq. Does this mean ISIS is over? Read on.
ISIS suffers a series of losses
In July, Iraqi forces defeated ISIS in Mosul, its de-facto capital city, after nearly nine months of deadly urban warfare. On November 3, Syrian forces claimed to have "completely liberated" the city of Deir al-Zour. On the same day Iraq captured Al-Qaim. The group's defeat in Albu Kamal, a crucial border crossing and their last urban stronghold reportedly "sealed their fall in the region."
Rawa: The last ISIS stronghold
The town of Rawa spreads across both sides of the Iraq-Syria border. Along with Albu Kamal and Deir al-Zour, ISIS had designated Rawa as part of the Euphrates province which was used to transfer fighters and supplies between the two countries.
Does this mark the end of ISIS?
The US-led coalition estimates that ISIS has lost about 95% of territory it once held. However, ISIS continues presence on the cyberspace and poses a threat through subscribers of its jihadist -ideology. A series of ISIS-inspired vehicle and knife-attacks across the west only seem to reinforce this threat. ISIS may resort to guerrilla-tactics while its top leadership regroups in preparation for a stronger comeback.