Resurgent ISIS Violence Underscores Revitalized Threat In Syria

In August, ISIS fighters carried out more than 35 attacks and killed at least 76 pro-Assad regime fighters across Syria in the Homs, Deir Ez Zor, Raqqa, Hama, and Aleppo governorates. Since losing its territory in Syria, ISIS has shifted its strategy in the country from holding territory to an insurgency against the state. Nonetheless, the increased volume of violence, sophistication of attacks, and total number of pro-regime casualties demonstrates ISIS’s “robust logistical and strategic capability,” despite the defeat of its self-proclaimed caliphate.

Extremist Content Online: ISIS Releases Propaganda Video Displaying Military Action And Executions From Self-Proclaimed Province In Syria

The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) reports weekly on the methods used by extremists to exploit the Internet and social media platforms to recruit followers and incite violence. Last week, ISIS released a new propaganda video titled “The Epic Battles of Attrition 4” from the group’s self-proclaimed Khayr province in Syria. Meanwhile, CEP researchers located a propaganda video on YouTube from a media group affiliated with the white supremacist group Rise Above Movement (RAM) featuring its founder, Robert Rundo, traveling to Bulgaria for an annual gathering of white supremacists. Additionally, researchers identified a video on a white supremacist accelerationist Telegram channel encouraging acts of violence, as well as an online clothing store that uses the Automattic-owned WooCommerce platform to sell anti-Semitic merchandise.

ISIS Redux: The Central Syria Insurgency – April & May 2020

Following a lull in the second half of April, ISIS attacks increased in both quantity and geographic diversity during May. This boost in activity coincided with increasingly persistent and widespread anti-ISIS operations conducted by the Syrian regime and its allied militias. Both the ISIS attacks and counter-insurgency operations spread across four governorates: Hama and Raqqa in the north, and Homs and Deir Ez Zor in the south.

Will ISIS Survive the Collapse of the Caliphate?

Several days after the June 29, 2014, declaration of a caliphate spanning large areas of eastern Syria and western Iraq, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered his first sermon as "Caliph Ibrahim" from the pulpit of al-Nuri mosque in Mosul. Three years later, ISIS militants have destroyed the 800-year-old mosque as Iraqi forces continue to drive the terror group from Mosul. As ISIS continues to evolve, policymakers will need to consider how to address the changing threat. 

ISIS Redux: The Central Syria Insurgency in May 2020

Following is the May installment of “ISIS Redux: The Central Syria Insurgency,” a monthly update on the ongoing attacks by the terrorist group ISIS in central Syria. The April update, which detailed ISIS’s killing of at least 34 Syrian regime loyalists, can be read ...

ISIS Redux: The Central Syria Insurgency

At the end of 2017, the Syrian regime and Russian President Vladimir Putin proudly proclaimed their militaries’ victory over ISIS.Andrew Roth, “On visit to Syria, Putin lauds victory over ISIS and announces withdrawals,” The Washington Post,...