Thursday, January 15, 2015

Exclusive: IS Expands in Syria Despite Airstrikes; At Least One-Third of Syria Is Under IS Influence

ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) continues to gain substantial ground in Syria, despite nearly 800 airstrikes in the American-led campaign to break its grip there, The Daily Beast website reports exclusively today (January 15, 2015).

At least one-third of the country's territory is now under ISIS influence, with recent gains in rural areas that can serve as a conduit to major cities that the Islamic State hopes to eventually claim as part of its caliphate. Moreover, the Islamic extremist group has not suffered any major ground losses since the airstrikes began several months ago.

In Syria, ISIS "has not lost any key terrain," Jennifer Cafarella, a fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War, who studies the Syrian conflict, said.

Even U.S. military officials privately admitted to The Daily Beast that ISIS has gained ground in some areas of Syria. The Pentagon claims that ISIS has lost some territory around the northern city of Kobani. That has been the focus of the U.S.-led campaign, and ISIS has not been able to take Kobani, despite its best efforts.

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