Daesh war status report: July 2016

Islamic State forces are trapped in the Manbij pocket northeast of Aleppo
A Kurdish push on Al-Bab could squeeze Daesh out of the Manbij pocket, setting up a confrontation with pro-Assad forces and Turkish-backed rebels (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • Success of U.S. backed Kurdish offensive against Daesh in Syria could lead to a confrontation with Turkish-backed rebels and pro-Assad forces
  • Daesh may hang on to Mosul through 2017 thanks to conflicts between Iraqi central government, Kurds and Shia militias
  • As the area controlled by Daesh shrinks, terrorist attacks in Europe will increase
  • Jihadists may also seek a foothold in the Balkans

Daesh, also known as Islamic State (IS), exists in three dimensions: as an ideology, as a terrorist organization and as a territorial state. At the core of its jihadi ideology is the idea of a caliphate – a religious and political institution uniting all Muslims in submission to Daesh's interpretation of Islam. Terrorism serves as an instrument of war. To show its power, the “caliphate” needs successes, and these are most easily achieved by terrorist attacks, especially against the West. More of these can be expected as the territory controlled by IS in Syria and Iraq steadily shrinks.

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