Security forces and allied troops in Syria and Iraq have reported that ISIS is proving to be an elusive enemy especially as they near defeat and being run off of the remaining last stronghold. Forces on the ground battle against omnipresent booby traps and a network of jihadist tunnels, and in Iraq where jihadists are tampering with water supplies.
Reports from the forces on the ground show that ISIS has also been using underground tunnels which makes it very much harder to attack and defeat in the final stages. Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Sean Ryan said, ISIS has booby-trapped and IED’d almost every area in there, to where you just can’t go rushing into these areas and clear them.
The US has maintained that only 2 percent of the original caliphate still is controlled by ISIS and that regaining the remaining pockets will involve a lot more. It will involve taking away ISIS capabilities, their weapons systems, taking away their logistical support and things of that nature to ensure permanent defeat and prevent resurgence.
In Iraq, small pockets of ISIS are targeting water supplies, power lines and cell towers in Kirkuk. The move is aimed at delegitimizing the government of Iraq and hold on to their remaining pockets for as long as they can. Iraqi forces are currently conducting Operation Last Warning targeting remaining pockets of ISIS in the Anbar Desert.