In January, the media wing of the ISIS branch in Africa published a new video release entitled Then it will become an anguish for them”. The video highlights the areas of ISIS cells’ activity and recent operations conducted by the terrorist group in the Lake Chad area, on the border of Nigeria, Niger and Chad.
1. Northern Africa: Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania
2. West Africa: Chad, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria
3. Asia: Bilad al-Sham [Syria], Iraq, southern Turkey, Afghanistan
The released footage reveals a very low combat training level of ISIS members. At the same time, the terrorists demonstrate dauntless courage during clashes. This is a result of the successful brainwashing, the massive usage of drugs and the sense of impunity that they gained by opressing and slaughtering local population.
He who does not believe in God is with dictators and infidels in one trench, and the Mujahedeen are united in a trench by themselves. But God is with them. No matter how high their planes are, no matter how high their missiles are, no matter how high their tanks are, know that God is higher, above all… when the belief is clear and solid, with the love of God and loyalty to God and its people, victory will be… because this jihad, through it God honors Islam and Muslims… and when we leave jihad we remain dishonored.. to God to God with prayers, honesty and loyalty to God.
Using motorcycles, ISIS units successfully employ tactics light raids in a semidesertic land environment. This tactic allows them to terrorize the local population and loot properties in villages within the area of ISIS operations. These swift raids pose a serious security problem. Security forces on the countries involved in the battle against ISIS experience significant difficulties in containing this threat.
Another thing that can be seen from the released footage is a poor training and low morale of security forces’ units deployed to combat ISIS. This, at least partly, explains the difficulties in removing the terrorist threat in the Sahel region of Africa.
The security situation in the Sahel, where the French military and political influence is traditionally strong, deteriorated to the extent that Paris was forced to send additional troops to the region. On January 13, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will send an extra 220 soldiers to West Africa to fight Islamist militants after agreeing to create a joint command structure with regional states to fight the growing insurgency.
“We have no choice. We need results,” Macron said after a summit with the leaders of Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad.
France already has around 4,500 troops in the region. However, the efficiency of its Operation Barkhane is in question. Since its launch in 2014, the terrorist threat in the area has grown. ISIS and other militant groups freely operate in several key areas in the region.
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