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According to recent news reports, air strikes by Syrian government’s ally Russia killed at least 21 Islamic State group “jihadists” in the Syrian desert. In Iraq, security forces clashed with the Islamic State group north of Baghdad leaving five “jihadists” and two security personnel dead.

The situation clearly shows that the spectre of the IS is far from over. It increasingly appears that the IS now re-establishing itself in the Middle East after losing the last of its territory during a battle in early 2019. Iraq and Syria have so far witnessed rise, fall and resurgence of IS. Insofar as Afghanistan is concerned, there has been the rise and stall of the IS. The withdrawal of US troops will certainly impact conditions on the ground, possibly providing the IS an opportunity to further deepen its footprints in this landlocked country.

Masood Mahmood (Islamabad)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021