Re­port: Weak­en­ing As­sad could help Is­lamic State

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - THE WORLD

The Is­lamic State group could in­ad­ver­tently ben­e­fit from a sit­u­a­tion in which Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces are con­sid­er­ably weak­ened on the ground, a Lon­don-based mil­i­tary anal­y­sis group said on Tues­day.

The re­port, pub­lished by IHS Jane’s Ter­ror­ism and In­sur­gency Cen­ter, fol­lows the United States bomb­ing of a Syr­ian army base af­ter a chem­i­cal weapons at­tack on April 4 killed nearly 90 peo­ple. Weak­ened Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces could give mil­i­tants ad­di­tional footholds at a time when their grip on ter­ri­tory else­where in Syria and Iraq is be­ing rolled back, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Across both Iraq and Syria, Is­lamic State has lost nearly half the ter­ri­tory it held at the height of its power in 2014.

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