A still image taken Dec. 11, 2016, from a video released by Islamic State-affiliated Amaq news agency Dec. 10, 2016, purports to show Islamic State fighters advancing over the Hayan mountain south of Palmyra.
VOA: Fears of Islamic State’s Long Game Persist as Caliphate Crumbles
WASHINGTON — Across much of Iraq and parts of Syria, the Islamic State terror group is in retreat. Yet, Iraqi and U.S. officials tell VOA they have a creeping fear that the larger war is still very much undecided.
To be clear, few worry IS will again be able to make the kind of sudden, massive land grab it did in 2013 and 2014 when, bolstered by tens of thousands of foreign fighters, it captured one Iraqi city after another.
Rather, they fear something more subtle: that the resilient terror group has played the long game well enough that even as its self-declared caliphate teeters on the verge of collapse, it will be a force to reckon with for some time to come.
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WNU Editor: Like the Taliban in Afghanistan .... they have a belief that they will win in the long run as long as a good part of the civilian population supports them. As for what is the Islamic State's strategy .... in a nut-shell the short game is to give a good fight, bloody the enemy, and win the local populations because of high civilian casualties. The medium game is to organise and rebuild .... while launching terror attacks. The long game is to restart the conflict all over again.