After a month of little movement, coalition forces have recently gained ground against ISIS. With Kurdish Peshmerga advancing from the north; Iraqi forces from the south and east; and assistance from embedded U.S. forces, the Islamic State territory is growing smaller.
Map credit: “Mosul Offensive Operations Set To Resume.” Stratfor. N.p., 28 Dec. 2016. Web. 30 Dec. 2016.
The Islamic State will most likely be defeated on the battlefield in 2017; however, their deadly insurgency is only beginning. Their territory will be lost, but the movement will continue to wreck havoc in Iraq and surrounding counties.
I’ll also monitor the health of the coalition. They are currently united against a common enemy, but once Mosul falls, old Ottoman and Persian rivalries will resurface.
For now, there is no quick victory in sight. Though the coalition is gaining ground, it’s hard fought urban combat. There will be many more weeks, or months, of street-to-street and house-to-house fighting.