Once controlling more than 30 percent of Iraq and 35 percent of Syria, ISIS has now lost its grip on Mosul and its hold on Raqqa is slipping away.
But this is far from the end of ISIS. We are now seeing the birth of ISIS 2.0.
As our attention turned to the escalating crisis with North Korea, the United States conducted the first counterterrorism strike in Libya during the Trump administration — the last of which occurred on Jan. 19, just one day before President Trump’s inauguration.
This strike in Libya is noteworthy, not only because it is the first of its kind in almost nine months, but also because it reminds us of what will be the dominant profile of ISIS post-Mosul and Raqqa.
No longer an insurgency bent on holding large swathes of terrain and sway over population in Syria and Iraq, ISIS is returning to its terrorist roots.