Mainstream analysts are portraying this as a sign of desperation: “The group is resorting more and more to mass-casualty violence as it comes under heavy pressure from multiple angles.” That may be, but the strikes against the Islamic State still don’t amount to much more than timid half-measures.
“Islamic State Boosts Attacks Under Pressure,” by Alistair Bunkall, Sky News, May 2, 2016:
Islamic State has increased its attacks in Iraq and Syria to the highest level since 2014, according to a report by IHS Janes.
The defence think tank says there were 891 attacks and 2,150 “non-militant” fatalities recorded in the first three months of this year.
Those figures represent an increase of 16.7% and 43.9% respectively on the last quarter of 2015.
Matthew Henman, Head of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, said: “Attack and fatality numbers have jumped.
“The group is resorting more and more to mass-casualty violence as it comes under heavy pressure from multiple angles.”
There is further sobering news for Syria as the report concludes that Jabhat al-Nusra has successfully established itself within the militant Islamist opposition and is arguably “a more dangerous long-term threat in the country than the Islamic State”.
The blunt analysis also finds Islamic State attacks in Libya are “intensifying” after “a several month slump”.
Almost as many attacks were recorded in the first three months of 2016 as in the third and fourth quarters on 2015 combined….