Since the beginning of 2017, the Islamic State’s empire in Syria has shrunk by about 70 percent. Most of this achievement can be attributed to the Syrian Arab Army, its paramilitary allies and Russian intervention forces.
In mid-January of this year, the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, backed up by Russian airpower, commenced an offensive against ISIS in eastern Aleppo Governorate in the north of the country. At the same time, pro-government forces in the center of the country also re-started their push into eastern Homs Governorate.
The immediate objectives of these campaigns were to liberate the remainder of Aleppo province that was still under ISIS control and re-liberate ancient city of Palmyra (respectively).
In the event, not only were these objectives achieved, but the offensives in both the north and center of Syria never really stopped – Syrian Army forces simply kept on rolling.
If any parallels in modern military history can be drawn to what is being witnessed in Syria, then the current military and territorial state of ISIS can be compared to that the Third Reich in the winter of 1944 after a number of summer and autumn offensives carried out earlier in the year (namely those which took place on the Eastern Front) devastated its armies throughout Europe and forced the Nazi polity to cede vast tracks of land it had otherwise held onto for years.
With the Syrian Army’s recent lifting of the siege on Deir Ezzor city, the war against ISIS now appears to have reached its terminal stage.
Just like the Nazis, the Islamic State believed it could fight the entire world and win, considering providence to be on its side; and now also likewise, despite its early golden years of successive conquests against an unsuspecting Syria and Iraq, the collective willpower of many peoples who refused to surrender to its fundamentally oppressive ideology have now brought the jihadist polity to its knees.
When and where the final military blow will be delivered to the pseudo-caliphate as a standing territorial entity are really the only two questions which remain on the matter of ISIS in Syria.