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Why Defeat of Daesh ‘May Not be the End of the Terror Organization’

© REUTERS / Muhammad HamedIraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) gather during an operation to clear the al-Zirai district of Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, January 18, 2017
Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) gather during an operation to clear the al-Zirai district of Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, January 18, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Many Daesh leaders have fled Raqqa and Mosul to the Syrian city of al-Mayadin amid the fierce battles raging to defeat terrorism in these cities. The city of al-Mayadin is situated in a valley of the Euphrates River on the border with Iraq.

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A senior researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Boris Dolgov, in an interview with Sputnik radio said that the fact that Daesh leaders are fleeing is a sign of their defeat.

However, their defeat may not mean the end of Daesh. 

“It is possible for Daesh fighters to switch to guerrilla warfare. It is also possible, as Daesh leaders themselves have said, that their detachments will dissolve among the local population for the creation of sleeping cells, which will bide time until the militants are ready to fight again,” Dolgov said.

He further added that another possible scenario is that the militants will move to other parts of Syria and Iraq, which is already happening. The militants are also relocating to other countries as well, particularly to Afghanistan and Libya.

“It is also possible that the militants under the guise of Syrian refugees move to Western Europe and that as we know is also taking place already,” Dolgov said.

The expert further said that although Daesh is facing a military defeat, this would hardly put a “full stop in the fight against this terrorist organization.”

He said that the ideology to which the militants adhere to retains its “attractiveness for a large part of the Muslim population.”

“The promises made by Daesh ideology to create a ‘just state’ have an impact and that will not collapse even after the defeat of Daesh,” Dolgov concluded.

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