U.S. warns more attacks ‘likely’ as ISIS suffers setbacks

Militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the centre of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, killing at least six people. (Reuters)

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria extremists will likely increase the tempo of attacks around the world as they come under increased pressure in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a top U.S. general warned.

General Lloyd Austin, who currently heads the military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) overseeing Middle East operations, made the argument that recent ISIS-claimed attacks like the ones this week in Istanbul and Jakarta are in fact evidence the group is faltering.

“ISIL has assumed a defensive posture in Iraq and Syria,” Austin said at a news conference in Florida.

“Going forward, we can expect to see him rely increasingly on acts of terrorism such as we saw this week in Baghdad and in Turkey, and most recently in Jakarta,” he added.

ISIS, which swept through vast regions of Iraq and Syria in 2014 and 2015 and captured a string of cities, has seen recent setbacks across its self-proclaimed caliphate, including the loss of the key Iraqi city of Ramadi to U.S.-supported local forces.

A U.S.-led coalition has also been hammering the group’s oil infrastructure, including by blowing up hundreds of trucks used to ferry illicit crude oil around Syria, and this week bombing a financial facility in the Iraqi city of Mosul that U.S. officials said held millions of dollars in cash.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47