16:28 GMT08 March 2021
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    As Daesh sustains defeats in Syria and Iraq, rapidly losing previously seized territories, the extremists have taken some desperate and despicable steps to inflict damage to their enemies, including forcing children to become soldiers and planting bombs in Korans.

    In the continuous anti-Daesh operations in the Middle East, the self-proclaimed caliphate has lost up to 40% of the territories it had seized, the Daily Mail reported, citing Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).

    Being “squeezed” out of Syria and Iraq, the jihadists, “in a defensive crouch,” are leaving booby traps across the territories they flee, he said.

    “These guys are disgusting, they have left bombs in refrigerators, they have put bombs in toilets, they have put bombs inside the holy Koran (Quran) — we found that on several occasions in Ramadi,” Warren, who is based in Baghdad, claimed during a trip to London.

    Amid a string of battlefield failures, including the loss of the key Iraqi city of Ramadi, Daesh is facing a drastic decrease in recruiting. To deal with the lack of manpower, the extremists are resorting to “enforced conscription,” including that of children.

    “We have seen an increase in the number of child soldiers, which is particularly concerning," Warren said, adding that wage cuts and increasing internal strife have weakened the effectiveness of Daesh.

    “We are beginning to see the fraying around the edges of this outfit as they begin to crack underneath this pressure.”

    In this light, according to Warren, Daesh would have carry out “high visibility attacks” in some of the western European states to restore its image of being a compelling force on the world stage.

    Warren, as well as many other military and security representatives, claim that the UK could be targeted by Daesh with attacks similar to those in Paris.

    But such an attack wouldn’t signal the re-emergence of the failing extremist state, Warren said.

    But many others, including Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), argue that "the picture is more balanced than the coalition is saying,” and that defeating Daesh could take years.


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    Child Soldier, Koran, offensive, anti-Daesh coalition, Daesh, Steve Warren, Iraq, Syria
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