Liberty Doesn’t Mean Life: Report Shows Freed Cities in Iraq and Syria Face Major Hurdles

Liberty Doesn’t Mean Life: Report Shows Freed Cities in Iraq and Syria Face Major Hurdles by Jacob Rogers - Medill News Service

Cities in Iraq and Syria that have been liberated from Islamic State control still suffer a great deal of violence at the hands of the extremist group, but the attacks may be ISIS’ reaction to its weakening foothold in the region, according to a report Thursday by the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.

The report monitored 16 cities, from their date of liberation until April 2017, and used self-reported data from ISIS, which only reported death tolls in 30 percent of its 1,468 attacks. The group claimed just under 2,600 deaths, about 8.6 per attack. According to the CTC report, if that average were applied to the remaining 70 percent of attacks, the death toll would be greater than 12,000.

Among the 16 cities surveyed, the eastern side of Mosul, Iraq, has the highest number of post-liberation attacks, averaging around 130 a month. According to Ilan Goldenberg, director the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, Mosul may be suffering more because it is a major symbol for ISIS. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, now believed to be dead, declared the caliphate there and its fall to ISIS was a huge victory for the group...

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