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 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.
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.