In the last six to nine months, the Islamic State has faced major reversals in the battlefield, a top American spy said on Sunday, calling the dreaded terror outfit a “failing” organisation. “There has been significant reversal of their battlefield successes over the last six to nine months. We have seen that they have been pushed out of a number of areas inside of Iraq, as well as in Syria. A number of their leaders have been removed from the battlefield. They do not have the same type of patrol over territory that they had this time last year,” the CIA Director John Brennan.
“So, this is all part of the strategic effort that has been under way to try to get the intelligence that is necessary in order to give the coalition the opportunity to take strikes from the air, and also make sure that the Iraqi forces and others and those elements that are fighting on the ground against ISIS are empowered and able to do that,” he was quoted as saying by CBS News.
“When I was able to roll across a number of these ungoverned spaces in both Iraq and Syria, that momentum generated quite a bit of attraction. That’s why the foreign fighters were flowing there, because they thought this was a winning organisation. It’s now a failing organisation. And their narrative has been refuted,” he said. Brennan also said that their claims of great victory have been debunked.
“That’s why I think fewer and fewer people now are looking to ISIS as being an organisation they want to belong to,” he said. With increasing US pressure, the Islamic State has dispersed for a while. “One of the thing that the ISIS has done is to develop these franchises around the world. A lot of these terrorist organisations that have raised the ISIS flag in different parts of Africa and the Middle East and South Asia, they were already existing terrorist groups, and they tried to jump onto the bandwagon of ISIS,” he observed.
Even those organisations have suffered serious setbacks. “When I look at Nigeria, in terms of the Islamic State of West Africa, also the heads of these organisations, whether it be in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Afghanistan, they have been taken off the battlefield. So, progress is being made not just in Iraq and Syria, but also beyond,” he said in response to a question.
Brennan said CIA has been probably the most instrumental agency since 9/11 in degrading, dismantling al Qaeda and making sure that that organisation and now ISIS are unable to carry out attacks here in the homeland. “We’re trying to be as careful as a surgeon’s scalpel in terms of taking out the cancer of these terrorist organisations,” he said.