During the past year, ISIS mercenaries began trying to gradually recover its strength after the two fatal strikes it had received, namely its geographical collapse and the killing of its leader, which led to striking its military and financial capabilities and forcing him to change his work style and goals, according to the Information Center on Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism.
The center reported that the attacks that ISIS had received did not kill him, and he managed to survive while he was working to reorganize its ranks and launch attacks in a number of Iraqi and Syrian provinces.
ISIS adopted a new strategy that transformed it from a quasi-state entity into gangs that refrain from occupying lands, and also includes the temporary waiver of the establishment of a "caliphate state" during this period and the continuation of guerrilla warfare and terrorist activity.
In addition to maintaining ISIS survival, especially in Syria and Iraq, applying decentralization to the leadership system within the various governorates, preserving unity of ranks, preventing splits, and modernizing the media system.
According to the center, this new strategy will significantly affect the behavior of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, noting that ISIS is in the process of re-escalating in Iraq in the future, especially in the event of the departure of American forces.
The center pointed out that the exit of American forces may reduce the pressure exerted on ISIS and motivate it to raise its head again by escalating the fighting in this vital field for him, stressing that strengthening the strength of ISIS in Iraq may raise morale and increase the motivation of its elements in other countries.
Despite the loss of land and resources, ISIS activity as a terrorist organization and gangs gives it significant advantages, most notably the flexibility to deploy its forces without any commitment to manage the lives of the population in areas under its control.
It also adds to the advantages of ISIS being a gang, its reduced vulnerability to attacks by the United States, the International Coalition, and local forces, as its elements are not obligated to maintain and defend territory, all of which enables it to maintain its survival and organize itself before the escalation of the attack in Iraq, its center of activity, when it changes circumstances.
Last year was marked by the shifting attention and priority of the United States and the international coalition from the campaign against ISIS to confronting Iran and its militias operating in Iraq, due to the terrorist attacks of Iranian militias on Iraqi bases that include coalition forces, in addition to underestimating the military capabilities of ISIS.
The spread of the Coronavirus and the withdrawal of a number of coalition countries such as Germany, France and Britain as part of its forces gave ISIS more opportunity to reorganize its ranks, as ISIS is well aware of the change taking place in the strategic environment in Iraq, which is the most important area of its activity, therefore, at this stage, it is preferable to act with caution and gradually increase the scope of its activity, while avoiding attacks that may expose him to revenge, according to the center.
The Center believes that despite the strikes suffered by the organization, the main vision of ISIS remains the establishment of a "caliphate state". To achieve this, it shows a great deal of realism and refrains from returning to broad regional control at the present time, in a way that does not endanger ISIS and its elements.
From the center’s point of view, ISIS’s strategy will continue throughout 2020 on the basis of a fundamental component which is the continued activity of gangs and terrorism in key countries such as Iraq and Syria, and in conjunction with the reorganization of its forces, and the attacks that will be carried out will be fatal suicide attacks, freeing prisoners from prison, and attacking everyone who opposes or criticizes it.