In today’s Daily Dispatch we reported on the Islamic State (ISIS)’s horrific murder of a captured Jordanian pilot. The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff writes that the reason for such a despicable act is the terrorist group’s frustration at their continued defeat:
The sick way Islamic State terrorists burned Jordanian pilot Lt. Moaz Kasasbeh alive should not be misunderstood: It means the organization has suffered defeats in battle and is letting out its frustration in brutal and vicious acts that go beyond even its past depravities.
The pilot, who was captured on December 24, paid the ultimate price a month ago for the blows the organizations has absorbed in Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria and even on the economic “battlefield”…
However, the reality for the Islamic State is not as simple as it was in the spring and summer of last year. Its territorial expansion has been stopped, especially in Iraq.
In Kobani, which is in the Kurdish area of Syria, members of the organization have been defeated, losing one of the symbols of their war in the region.
Kurdish militias have proven that with a fighting spirit and a few supplies (and aggressive air support from the international coalition) you can halt the advancement of the Islamic State — and even defeat it.
Its routing in Kobani turned IS from an undefeated army to one that can be overpowered potentially in just weeks or even days …
Also its income has been seriously hit, because the refineries and fuel tankers it controlled have been attacked and the pressure on Ankara to cease its fuel trade with the Islamic State has increased. This pressure has borne fruit. Although Turkey has not completely stopped buying gas from IS, the extent to which it does so has plummeted.
And besides all that, the Islamic State still has to manage a daily routine, at least in Mosul and Raqqa. It has to give basic assistance to the population, including medical care, sanitation, education and more, even when it does not score big victories. In light of the depletion of its resources and its difficulties on the battlefield, it is hard to imagine how it will prove itself to be a real Islamic country and not just a passing phenomenon in the bloody history of the Middle East.