Tuesday 28 February 2017

Bombs in Brussels are a sign that Isil is losing the struggle

Isil is lashing out after losing several of its leaders and 30pc of the territory it had conquered

Michael Burleigh

Isil's war crimes: An Iraqi man carries the body of his daughter who died during clashes between Iraqi forces and Isil last week near the city of Mosul Photo: Safin Hamed
Isil's war crimes: An Iraqi man carries the body of his daughter who died during clashes between Iraqi forces and Isil last week near the city of Mosul Photo: Safin Hamed

Two separate events on opposing sides of the world reflect the declining fortunes of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - Isil.

First is the appalling carnage wrought on the streets of Brussels, which has left 31 dead and 270 wounded. Second is the assault by Russian and Iranian-backed Syrian forces on the city of Palmyra, where only a few months ago the triumphant jihadists smashed statues and executed prisoners in its ancient Roman ampitheatre.

You can bet which story the terrorist group would prefer us to focus on. For as appalling and needless the blood shed by innocents from 40 different nationalities on the streets of the Belgium capital was, it reveals one simple fact from which we should take heart: these acts of terrorism are the late-life spasms of an organisation slowly being contained, if not yet crushed.

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