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Pentagon Says Bombings In Baghdad Show ‘Shift’ In ISIS Tactics

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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Islamic State’s week-long campaign of bombings in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad that have left over 100 dead shows it’s changing tactics as it continues to lose ground, says U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren.

Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, made his comments on the tactical shift during a Wednesday press briefing. He notes given the terrorist group’s significant defeats in recent months, the bombing campaign shows a “shift in [ISIS] tactics.”

“[ISIS] wants to throw punches that land,” explains Warren, employing one of his well-known boxing analogies to describe the situation. Despite the fact that over 140 have been killed in the Iraqi capital in the past week, Warren assured reporters the attacks have “not impacted” the fight against ISIS on the battlefield.

Despite Warren’s claim, the security situation in Baghdad, or lack thereof, has required as much as 50 percent of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to be deployed to the city, as opposed to the ISIS front line. Warren noted he has not seen the ISF re-deploy to Baghdad in response to the ongoing attacks. In regard to U.S. assets in the capital, he said the military does not believe it needs any additional security.

ISIS has noticeably ramped up terrorist attacks since it suffered its first major territorial loss against the ISF in December when the terrorist group lost the city of Ramadi. Since then, the terrorist group has lost 30-35 percent of its territory, according to Warren’s figures. Additionally, the U.S. government believes ISIS oil production has dropped by as much as 30 percent, thanks to ongoing Operation Inherent Resolve missions.

Whereas ISIS has certainly been pushed back in its “parent tumor” of Iraq and Syria, it has gained a substantial foothold in Libya, as well as a presence in Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

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