ISIS seems to be running out of historic shrines to destroy

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tags: ISIS, ISIL

The past two months have seen a decrease in the number of reports of sites being destroyed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Sadly, this is likely partially due to ISIS running out of famous sites to destroy. However, the predominant reason is more likely the increased pressure which ISIS finds itself under due to airstrikes launched by the United States and allied countries.

ISIS’ advance on Irbil was halted by American air power and their once-rapid advance has stalled into a fairly static front line in the north. The siege of Sinjar was lifted within days and Kurdish forces recaptured the Mosul dam in mid-August. Otherwise, the front lines have stabilized into a stalemate that will likely persist for some time.

But ISIS’ main strength is their mobility, and in the past few weeks their forces have overrun several Iraqi Army bases in Anbar province and approached Baghdad. In Syria, ISIS has concentrated their attacks on the Kurdish YPG-held enclave of Kobane. Over the past week ISIS forces (including tanks) have steadily shrunk the perimeter around the town until the last few days when fighting reached the streets. Most of the civilian population has fled into Turkey but fears of an impending massacre are well justified as ISIS has already beheaded and massacred Kurdish prisoners. The news coming out of Kobane appears desperate, with reports that at least one YPG fighter blew herself up with her own grenade to avoid capture. Airstrikes have increased around the town in the past 48 hours, bringing at least a brief respite for the defenders.

Read entire article at Gates of Nineveh (blog)

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