Smoke believed to be from an airstrike billows over the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, Nov. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)
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Stretched thin and under pressure by increasing airstrikes, Daesh (ISIS) has been forced into a defensive position in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq.Last year, the miltant group declared a self-styled caliphate across the borders of Syria and Iraq, sweeping quickly into Mosul and Raqqa.The extremist group has also depleted another key resource: suicide bombers, which proved crucial to Daesh's lightning attacks on cities in Iraq and Syria, but are in increasingly rare supply.Together, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in northeast Syria and Kurdish forces in Iraq backed by American air support have been able to squeeze Daesh in the border area.That area includes the Sunni Arab zone around the Euphrates River in Syria and across the border in northwest Iraq.The number of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria has more than doubled since last year to at least 27,000 people, says a recent study by the U.S.-based Soufan Group.
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