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ICSR Insight: Is Islamic State losing control of its ‘virtual caliphate’?

09/11/2017

By Charlie Winter, Senior Research Fellow, ICSR

For years, a utopian vision of life under so-called Islamic State (IS) was at the heart of the propaganda it pumped out online. As it loses vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, is it also losing control of its “virtual caliphate”?

In Syria and Iraq, Islamic State is on the brink of collapse.

Just days ago, it lost the city of Deir al-Zour, its last major stronghold in Syria: a defeat that followed those in Mosul, Tal Afar and Raqqa.

The idea of an IS “state” is no more – nowadays, it exists mostly as a series of scattered insurgencies.

Territory matters to IS, but it is not the be-all and end-all for a group that has long had a remarkably strong online presence.

However, there is lots that is wrong with the idea that it can simply retreat into a “virtual caliphate” and hope to be as powerful as it ever was.

IS will not go away, but nor will it thrive like it has done these past few years – not least because its official propagandists are in tatters.

Read the full article published by BBC News here