The US-led coalition airstrikes on the ISIL militants have not repelled the terrorists’ attacks in Syria and Iraq, a report by IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center (JTIC) shows.
According to the data provided exclusively to NBC News, the number of attacks conducted by the terrorists is now soaring even more than before.
“The airstrikes certainly aren’t impairing their ability to intensify their attacks or carry out their campaign,” said Matthew Henman, head of the JTIC. “They’re not cowed by them, they’re not afraid.”
Following the capturing of the Iraqi city of Mosul on June 10, ISIL terrorists increased their attacks and have even stepped them up further since the US began its air campaign in August.
Henman said the group is to blame for far more violence than the JTIC database can attribute to them due to stringent methodology and verification requirements.
“They’re doing far more than we’re able to … give them credit for,” he said.
He asserted that the group has now an ability to “intensify and de-intensify their operational tempo at will”.
The US airstrikes have not only not pushed them back but instead made them stronger and now “they’re the ones that are still calling the shots,” he said, adding they are the ones that are “dictating the pace.”
US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq since early August. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes in Iraq.
Since late September, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.