IS Shows Signs of Strengthening in Syria, Iraq
IS appears “poised to increase activity … after a period of recuperation and recovery,” the Defense Intelligence Agency told the Defense Department’s inspector general in its just-released quarterly report on U.S. operations in the region. This is particularly true in Syria with a growing number of attacks in Syria’s central desert against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
U.S. military intelligence officials also said there was evidence IS relocated some fighters from the central desert to northeastern Syria, where local officials say the terror group is finding other ways to expand.
IS has found a fertile recruiting ground in displaced-persons camps such as al-Hol, home to almost 60,000 women and children, many connected to dead or captured IS fighters.
Despite efforts by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, U.S. military intelligence officials warn, IS “retains the capability to radicalize, intimidate, recruit and conduct attacks.”