DAMASCUS, SYRIA – A map produced by IRT Global tracks the expansion and decline in territory held by the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq since 2014.
The steady progress of the Iraqi Armed Forces along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers had diminished ISIS’s territorial control over Iraq to less than 13% after it had peaked at 40% when the extremist insurgents dominated most of Anbar and Mosul. The Iraqi National Army had managed to capture the majority of the oil-rich Anbar and Mosul making the expulsion of the terrorist group merely a matter of time.
On the other hand, progress against ISIS in Syria had been much more stagnant due to the civil war that is barring the government forces from concentrating against ISIS in the eastern part of country that is linked to the neighboring Iraq. Yet, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have managed to seize much of the Syrian-Turkish borders and the countryside of Raqqa causing the terror group to lose about a third of its lands in the war-torn nation.
With the Kurdish-led Raqqa offensive in full swing and the Syrian Army launching a multitude of offensives in eastern Aleppo and eastern Homs targeting ISIS, it is expected that the group’s waning control over both Syria and Iraq will continue its downhill trend. 2017 may very well be the year when ISIS is expelled from its main strongholds of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Mosul.