Iraqis carry the coffins of relatives on September 6, 2016 a day after a car bomb explosion in the Karrada district of the capital Baghdad in which seven people were killed. AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Despite major setbacks including the loss of access to the Syria-Turkey border and the assassination of several top leaders, Daesh (ISIS) remains a potent force, analysts warn. The increasing pressure on Daesh, including Turkey's decision to launch an operation against it in northern Syria, has seen the organization lose ground at an unprecedented pace.The Turkish operation Sunday reclaimed the last stretch of the Syria-Turkey border from the group, sealing off its self-styled "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq and forcing it to rely on smuggling networks instead.Daesh now controls just 20 percent of Iraq and 35 percent of Syria, according to Fabrice Balanche, an expert on Syria's political geography.Analysts warn the group is far from finished, and that its focus may simply be shifting from territorial expansion to consolidation of population centers – like Syria's Raqqa and Iraq's Mosul – and new attacks against civilians in the region and the West.Daesh Monday claimed a series of bombings across mostly government-held Syria that killed at least 48 people, as well as a car bomb in central Iraq that killed at least seven.
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