ISIS Showing Signs of Desperation in Iraq

As Iraqi Security Forces, supported by US-led coalition partners, established control over the eastern part of the city of Mosul Tuesday, coalition forces saw signs that ISIS’ command structure is deteriorating and its fighters are growing desperate, Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, commander of coalition forces for Operation Inherent Resolve, said Wednesday. “There has been infighting amongst the ranks and amongst the various cohorts of Daesh,” Martin said, using a local name for ISIS during a Pentagon press briefing conducted by telephone. He also said, “We are seeing indications of desertions,” though he did not speculate on how many had abandoned ISIS’ ranks. ISIS’ tactics were becoming more desperate, and potentially more dangerous, as they lost control of the city, said Martin. “There’s no limitation to their despicability as they use civilians as human shields” and launch attacks from hospitals and schools. The terrorist organization also has begun “enlisting adolescents and handicapped people” to deliver improvised explosive devices. All of these developments indicate a “withering enemy,” he said. Coalition forces have also seen signs that ISIS’ command and control structure is “starting to crumble.” Still, the fight for control of the rest of the ISIS stronghold of Mosul will be difficult, he said. “They’re tenacious, but the Iraqi Security Forces are more tenacious.”