As ISIS’ capital, Raqqah is predicted to fall by the end of the year, the group is losing its strength and relevance as quickly as they were gained, suggests Siman Cottee of NY Daily News. The caliphate was unique because of its large army, the territory it held, and its surprising victories against overwhelming odds. All of these advantages are gone or will soon be. Together they hugely boosted ISIS' morale. Claiming that Allah was behind its huge successes attracted even more followers. With territory it was able to call itself the only genuine ‘Islamic state.’ Without it, ISIS no longer stands out from other terror groups.
ISIS may have suffered huge damages to its fighting force and image, but its profound ideological influence and advanced guerrilla tactics will make it incredibly hard to fully eliminate, infers The Strait Times in an editorial. Its territorial losses have been significant but it still holds important parts of both Syria and Iraq. It has highly-trained snipers that can cause immense damage to larger forces on their own. The caliphate's motivational power means it can count on a constant flow of new recruits. Its biggest asset is the ability to lie low and re-emerge. For governments to stomp it out will take not just military victories, but ideological ones too.