Rumblings of an Islamic State Resurgence in Iraq

May 19, 2020 | 10:00 GMT

An image of the Islamic State flag overlays a map of Iraq.

An image of the Islamic State flag overlays a map of Iraq.



  • The Islamic State has increased the scope and scale of its operations in Iraq due to its internal cohesion and strength, as well as a lack of significant pressure from the forces opposing it. 
  • The militant group will continue to build off of the momentum it has already gained and increase its operations in Iraq, and potentially elsewhere in the region, over the next several months.
  • The developments will undermine Iraqi stability and energize grassroots militants to carry out attacks around the world, even though the Islamic State remains far from reestablishing its caliphate. 

The Islamic State may have faded from international headlines, but the group remains a potent threat capable of returning with force in its core territory. Since beginning its initial resurgence in Iraq during 2011, the Islamic State has morphed from a local insurgent group to a global movement, with branches that have continued to launch attacks in areas ranging from West Africa to Afghanistan. And without sustained pressure from its adversaries, including the United States and Iraq, the group is well-positioned to continue its resurgence in its core territory -- a development with potentially grave global consequences....

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