A new Pentagon report said Iran’s presence in eastern Iraq and Syria has contributed to limiting the ability of the international coalition to track down ISIS terrorist networks and have led to the organization’s success in restructuring its forces in both countries.
The report added that the international coalition’s capabilities to collect intelligence and track ISIS cells in border areas have become limited, allowing the organization to reorganize and direct terrorist attacks in Syria and Iraq.
According to the quarterly report issued by the US Department of Defense, coalition aircraft in charge of reconnaissance missions on the border areas between Syria and Iraq are witnessing interference in electromagnetic waves, in addition to other problems preventing them from completely eliminating the last pockets of the terrorist organization, which is forcing them to rely on data from the Iraqi forces.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the international coalition, announced in late March the elimination of ISIS after taking over the Syrian village of Baghouz, but the organization’s terrorist attacks have not stopped since that time.
The US Defense Department estimates that the number of remaining fighters ranges from 14,000 to 30,000 fighters deployed in areas inside Iraq and Syria.
Recently, a video was broadcasted showing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after five years of disappearance.
In the 18-minute video, Baghdadi focused on changing the organization’s strategy, launching an “war of attrition” and launching attacks against the organization’s enemies in any part of the world.
The Pentagon confirmed that ISIS cells have intensified efforts to restructure the organization, focusing on assassinations and bombings as part of their “strategy of attrition”, indicating that there are still terrorist problems in the areas recovered by US allies in Syria and Iraq.
The United States has recently launched new operations to train Iraqi counterterrorism units to counter new terrorist tactics, but the US says it will not be able to overcome the working mechanism problems within the Iraqi security forces.