On Feb. 12, the newly formed Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) and other insurgent groups launched an offensive against Bashar al Assad’s regime in the southern city of Daraa. Two HTS suicide bombers were deployed at the beginning of the battle. HTS includes al Qaeda’s arm in Syria.
The Islamic State claims to have carried out 1,112 suicide attacks in Iraq and Syria during 2016. Additional suicide bombers were deployed in Libya and elsewhere. If the group’s claims are accurate, then the so-called caliphate has been using “martyrs” at a historically high rate.
The Pentagon announced today that the Islamic State no longer controls any part of Sirte, Libya. The ground campaign to liberate the city began more than six months ago and the US has launched 495 airstrikes in support of the operation. The Islamic State’s “governor” in Libya vows to fight on, saying that his men have spread out across the country.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a new video featuring John Cantlie, who discusses the destruction of four of the five bridges in Mosul. The US-led coalition destroyed or damaged the bridges in November at the request of the Iraqi government in order to interrupt the flow of suicide bombers driving vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs).
The Islamic State has claimed 1,034 suicide bombings in Iraq, Syria and Libya through the first eleven months of 2016. Many of the recent claimed suicide attacks have taken place in and around Mosul, where the so-called caliphate is trying to thwart a multi-sided offensive.
The Pentagon says that more than 60 vehicle bombs have been destroyed in airstrikes since the battle for Mosul began in October. The Islamic State claims to have carried out 120 “martyrdom operations,” many utilizing vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), during this same timeframe. However, some of these claimed suicide bombings were likely neutralized before they could hit their intended targets.
The Islamic State claims to have carried out 120 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq and Syria in October. Seventy-nine (79) of these suicide bombings were purportedly launched around the city of Mosul. The so-called caliphate has claimed 902 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq, Libya and Syria during the first ten months of 2016. If accurate, then the group is carrying out suicide attacks at a historically high rate.
The Islamic State claims to have carried out 12 suicide bombings south and east of Mosul during the first hours of the battle to retake the city. However, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) claims that the suicide attackers were neutralized. The so-called caliphate has increasingly relied on its “martyrs” as it has lost ground in the past.
According to statistics provided by Amaq News Agency, which is part of the Islamic State’s propaganda machine, the so-called caliphate deployed 589 suicide bombers in Iraq, Syria and Libya during the first six months of 2016. The figures published by Amaq cannot be independently verified and other sources indicate the figure may be lower. But Amaq’s aggregate statistics are generally consistent with the scale of the Islamic State’s fighting.
Amaq News Agency claims that the Islamic State has carried out 489 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq, Syria and Libya during the first five months of 2016, with 119 in May alone. If Amaq’s figures are accurate, then the Islamic State is executing more suicide attacks per month in 2016 than all terrorist organizations combined in 2015.
‘Amaq News Agency, which is linked to the Islamic State’s online propaganda operations, released an infographic claiming that the “caliphate” launched 90 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq, Syria and Libya in February. The propaganda outfit previously claimed that the Islamic State carried out 85 suicide attacks in Iraq and Syria in January. These figures have not been independently verified.