15 Jun '17, 10pm

Messy fight awaits Islamic State's next Syrian capital at Mayadeen

WASHINGTON — As Islamic State militants take a pounding in their eroding Iraqi and Syrian strongholds, its leaders have set up a new headquarters in Syria away from the front lines, where they are digging in and likely planning more attacks against the West. The militants' relocation could extend Islamic State's ability to wreak havoc in the region and beyond for months to come. U.S. officials and Syrian activists say many commanders have fled the besieged cities of Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, in recent months for Mayadeen, a remote town in the heart of Syria's ISIS-controlled, Euphrates River valley near the Iraqi border. Although the U.S.-led coalition is aware of the migration and has launched airstrikes there, its military campaign remains focused on ousting ISIS from its two centers of operation, Mosul and Raqqa. Militants may already be communicating, coordinating...

Full article: http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/messy-fight-awaits-...

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