For three years, terrorists controlled a huge stretch of territory in Iraq and Syria. They ran their own state, collecting tens of millions of dollars in taxes and using the proceeds to fix potholes, issue birth certificates, finance attacks and recruit followers from around the world.
All but 1 percent of that territory is now gone, which has prompted the White House to describe the Islamic State as “wiped out,” “absolutely obliterated” and “in its final throes.” But to suggest that ISIS was defeated, as President Trump did when he announced plans to pull out American troops from Syria, is to ignore the lessons of recent history.
The group has been declared vanquished before, only to prove politicians wrong and to rise stronger than before.
The attack last week by a suicide bomber outside a shawarma restaurant in the Syrian city of Manbij, which killed at least 15 people including four Americans, is one example of how the group still remains a serious, violent threat.
ISIS “realized you don’t have to mount 6,000 attacks per month,” one expert said. “You just have to kill the right 50 people each month.” https://t.co/VJ1et9xpnB
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) January 22, 2019