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Having begun to turn the corner in the fight against ISIS earlier this year, it’s safe to say that we have now secured significant momentum in dissolving the terrorist group’s “state” project.
Although more victories have been won in Iraq, Syria too has witnessed ISIS lose a great deal more territory than it has won since mid-2014. It would seem therefore, that we have much to celebrate.
However, fighting the scourge of ISIS is about more than territorial gains. ISIS’s dramatic recovery in Iraq and expansion in Syria was a symptom of a far more significant threat: the catastrophic breakdown of societies and governance.
Nowhere has this been clearer than in Syria, where a ruthless dictator has torn his country apart and contributed to creating a seething sectarian cauldron in which extremists have thrived. Turning tactical gains into durable strategic victories means securing a more representative and stable alternative for societies currently under ISIS control.