Once prepared to fight to the death under all circumstances, thousands of ISIS fighters have surrendered in recent days as the US-backed coalition conquered their final stronghold in Raqqa, Iraq.
It was a sign that ISIS’ cause was lost — and they knew it. With the goal of establishing a Caliphate (Islamic State) in tatters — a necessary step in bringing about the apocalypse and a holy battle predicted by the Koran — it’s starting to look very likely that God isn’t on their side.
In July, the group lost their stronghold in Iraq — Mosul — and now that’s followed by the loss of their de facto capitol in Syria, Raqqa.
According to Fox News,
In the span of nine months, ISIS has gone back to being the “JV team.”
The Islamic State, a day after being ousted from its defacto capital of Raqqa, is losing its foothold in the two nations where it established its bloody roots and grew from former President Barack Obama’s infamous “JV team” into an unrelenting exporter of global terror.
Once the owner — or captor — of a swath of land in Syria and Iraq, the militant group has lost control of its two key cities — and at least half of the original territory it once brazenly roamed.
ISIS is reportedly “regrouping and recruiting” in other chaos-torn nations as its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, resurfaces in cryptic audio messages, urging “soldiers of Islam and caliphate supporters” to remain focused on their victory.
ISIS was dealt a massive blow Tuesday when most of Raqqa was liberated from the militant fighters’ hold by U.S.-backed Syrian troops. A U.S. military spokesperson told Fox News the city, once considered the capital of the terrorists’ so-called caliphate, has been 90 percent recaptured, with fighting remaining only in a few select pockets where hardline militants have holed up.
It’s unclear how — or if — Baghdadi plans to maintain or recapture ISIS’ lost territory in Syria and Iraq.
Trump took credit for ISIS’ fall.
“I totally changed rules of engagement. I totally changed our military, I totally changed the attitudes of the military and they’ve done a fantastic job,” Trump said on “The Chris Plante Show.”
“ISIS is now giving up, they’re raising their hands, they’re walking off. Nobody has ever seen that before.”
This is hardly just some “truthful hyperbole” from Trump, either. By the beginning of August, the terror group’s losses had started mounting — by then, one third of all of ISIS’ territorial losses had occurred after Trump’s election.
It’s not hard to see why, given how aggressive he has been against the terror group, relative to Obama — who blocked 75 percent of airstrikes that U.S. military pilots sought clearance to undertake. For comparison, Trump dropped 5,775 bombs and missiles on Raqqa in August — 10 times more than the U.S. used in Afghanistan that month.
In short, shortly after the election, Trump instructed the Pentagon to loosen the rules of engagement for airstrikes, eliminated unnecessary White House oversight procedures and ordered the CIA to undertake targeted killing missions.
It was a refreshing change from Obama’s long list of excuses, as the Investor’s Business Daily reminds us:
“It will take time to eradicate a cancer like (ISIS). It will take time to root them out.”
“There will be setbacks and there will be successes.”
“We must be patient and flexible in our efforts; this is a multiyear fight and there will be challenges along the way.”
“This is a long-term and extremely complex challenge.”
“This will not be quick.”
The fight against ISIS in their territories has been fierce — and successful. That battle’s over, but whether or not the loss of the Caliphate will mean the end of ISIS as a terror group remains up for debate.
Let’s hope it’s the beginning of the end.