Syria

Analysis: Islamic State spokesman says ‘new phase’ of jihad has begun

In a lengthy audio message released on Apr. 22, Islamic State spokesman Abu-al-Hasan al-Muhajir claims that the US is retreating from Iraq and Syria. He argues that his group is in a better condition than when the US withdrew its forces from Iraq in 2011. He advises the Islamic State's members that they should prepare for the war against the Russians and Iranians, who are filling the void left by the Americans. Read more >

Islamic State radio tries to quell controversy over takfir

The Islamic State's Al Bayan radio station has released several religious lectures dealing with an internal controversy over takfir, the practice of excommunicating other Muslims and denouncing "polytheists." The so-called caliphate tried to quell the controversy by repealing a problematic memo earlier this month. Read more >

Islamic State loses more ground in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor

As US-backed forces seize the city of Raqqa, the Syrian regime moves to retake ground in Deir Ezzor, where the Islamic State has laid siege to Bashar al Assad's forces since 2014. Assad's regime has received a boost from Iranian-sponsored militias, as well as the Russians, during its recent offensive in eastern Syria. Read more >

Australia disrupts ‘sophisticated’ plot directed by the Islamic State

Australian authorities say they broke up an especially "sophisticated" Islamic State plot in late July. The so-called caliphate wanted to bring down an airliner using an improvised explosive device (IED). The Islamic State even shipped the IED components to the suspects in Australia. The accused men were also allegedly experimenting with a bomb intended to disperse hydrogen sulfide. Read more >