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    Iraqi military forces prepare for an offensive into Fallujah to retake the city from Islamic State militants in Iraq, Friday, June 3, 2016

    Military Defeats in Middle East Prompt Daesh to Focus on Europe

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    Multinational efforts, including a Russian-led coalition, have dealt major damage to Daesh, but the terrorist group will not go down without a fight. Instead the militants will rely on sleeper cells to wreak havoc in Europe as they lose territories in the Middle East, political analyst Oleg Glazunov told Russia's Izvestiya newspaper.

    Things are not going well for Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The group has recently lost the city of Fallujah. This victory will pave the way for more military operations against the militants, Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal told the publication.

    These campaigns "will primarily be aimed at freeing Mosul, the largest Iraqi city under Daesh control. The army has already carried out several operations in the north of Saladin Governorate. For instance, the [security forces] have pushed the terrorists out of the city of al-Shirqat and adjacent areas," he detailed.

    The Saladin (or Salaheddin) province borders on Nineveh Governorate, whose capital is Mosul.

    In this Tuesday, June 14, 2016 photo, smoke rises after an airstrike by a US-led coalition warplane as Iraqi security forces advance their position during heavy fighting against Islamic State militants in Fallujah, Iraq
    © AP Photo / Anmar Khalil
    In this Tuesday, June 14, 2016 photo, smoke rises after an airstrike by a US-led coalition warplane as Iraqi security forces advance their position during heavy fighting against Islamic State militants in Fallujah, Iraq

    Ahmad Jamal could not provide the exact timeframe when Baghdad-led forces plan to take Iraq's second largest city under control, but it will not be as fast as the offensive on Fallujah. "We are talking about a city with large civilian population," he said.

    Still the spokesperson expressed hope that Mosul, that has been under Daesh control since June 10, 2014, could be freed by the end of the year.

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    © Sputnik / Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation
    Ahmad Jamal also noted that Iraq's military planners work closely with experts from Russia and Iran at the coordination center in Baghdad. Intelligence provided by the center makes anti-Daesh operation, according to Izvestiya, "significantly easier."

    Daesh has struggled to maintain the grip on its once sprawling caliphate for months. The group is estimated to have lost some 45 percent of its territory in Iraq and 20 percent of its lands in Syria. Yet it remains a formidable force to be reckoned with.

    The upcoming liberation of Mosul and Raqqa, the two most important cities for the group, will most likely deal a devastating blow to Daesh's empire. However, the operations will not put an end to the group itself, Glazunov asserted.

    "The terrorists are powerful and are capable of pushing back. At the same time they understand that they will have to flee Iraq and Syria at some point. As a result, they are changing tactics and creating sleeper cells. Militants enter Europe as migrants. They live normal life, have families. Then they receive an order to carry out a terrorist attack," he detailed.

    In other words "the extremists are transferring the warzone from the Middle East to European cities," he said.

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Tags:
    Islamic extremism, radical Islam, terrorism, caliphate, Daesh, Fallujah, Mosul, Europe, Syria, Iraq
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