What the Fall of Raqqa and ISIS’ Latest Setbacks Mean for Jordan

What the Fall of Raqqa and ISIS’ Latest Setbacks Mean for Jordan
A Jordanian soldier stands at the northeastern border with Syria, Feb. 14, 2017 (AP photo by Raad Adayleh).

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles on the Islamic State after the fall of Raqqa and the outlook for Syria and its neighbors.

The defeat last week of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Raqqa, its major base of operations in northern Syria, may prove to be a seminal event in ways the battle’s victors did not intend. While no doubt a major milestone, Raqqa’s fall is far from the conclusion of the broader six-year conflict in Syria, nor the end of the jihadi movement itself. The temptation to claim victory over the Islamic State may prove irresistible to politicians, but it is still premature.

After a months-long siege by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, Raqqa became the second major urban stronghold to fall out of the Islamic State’s control since July, when Iraqi coalition forces recaptured Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. Together, the losses are a crushing blow to the Islamic State’s territorial ambitions, its organizational capacity and its international brand. But the fractious nature of the war in Syria still leaves space for the movement to regroup and transition into something that can threaten not only Syria and Iraq, but their neighbors as well.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.