Is it fair to say IS is on the run ?
Daesh's last days ?
With the loss of Palmyra in Syria to the Syrian armed forces and the Russian air force is it fair to say the Islamic State is on the run and on the defensive? Also it has lost territory to a resurgent Iraqi army re - trained and re - equipped by the West not forgetting the Kurdish gains and the round the clock bombing of its infrastructures by the Coalition and Russian air forces plus the assassination of its leaders and the many men it has lost on the battlefield, I think the assumption that IS is on the run is a fair assumption.
That's not saying the group will fade from the scene any time soon and as if proof were needed of that IS still offers up fierce up resistance in the places it is driven from. Also the Brussels bombings shows it can still reach the capitals of its enemies so while the group may be struggling to assume their still not a threat is not living in the real world.
It has to be asked though, are the latest actions by IS in Europe the works of a desperate enemy on the run lashing out at enemies it cannot hope to defeat in the long run or are the lashings out to show the world IS on the world stage can still project its power beyond the Middle East.
With its oil fields being hit, its fleet of lorries to transport the oil being hit and the destruction of oil refining machinery also being hit from the air, IS must be finding it hard to keep revenue coming in from this source to fund its war effort. It has other ways though to gain money for its economy and to fund its war effort like taxing non - Muslims are who are still brave enough to live in the area of land IS has captured known as the Caliphate. There are rich donors that keep IS stocked up with finance and then it probably resorts to Mafia like crimes like racketeering and extortion.
It seems Western leaders like Obama and Cameron have given their blessing to the Russians and Syrians re - capturing Palmyra, both the Roman ruins and the modern city of the same name that IS captured back in May of last year.
As I have said before in previous articles the defeat of IS will come at a high price for IS itself and those battling it. I predicted that the defeat of IS would come but it would take a long time like the Americans battling back the Japanese in the Pacific which was a long and bloody experience and so it seems the same scenario is being played out in Syria and Iraq with IS being in the same position as the Japanese were all those years ago. Fighting a defensive war to protect what territory still lay under its control and the Coalition and others fighting IS are like the Americans were all those years ago capturing and consolidating territory it had gained from the enemy.
The leadership of IS if they are still in its de - facto capital Raqqa, Al - Baghdadi and his crew must know their on the back foot and yet like the Germans and Japanese before them they fight on.
If Raqqa and all the other towns and cities are liberated from IS that does not mean the end of IS, they will resort to being a shadowy organisation like AQ and probably try to consolidate their footholds in Libya and Yemen or where ever there is an opening for them to flourish.