ISIS Attacks Are on Rise in Syria Despite Russian Airstrikes - NBC Bay Area
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ISIS Attacks Are on Rise in Syria Despite Russian Airstrikes

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    In this file photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official website on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, a bomb is released from Russian Su-34 strike fighter in Syria.

    The Russians are playing Whack-A-Mole with ISIS — they hit the murderous militants in Iraq and the fanatics pop up in Syria, NBC News reported.

    So says the IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center, which has done a tally of ISIS attacks in 2015 since Moscow began bombing the militants.

    "Following the start of airstrikes and Russian intervention in September 2015, the number of Islamic State attacks in Iraq declined in the last quarter of the year, however, the number of attacks in Syria increased," said Matthew Henman, who heads the Jane's center.

    Hoping to make gains in Syria, ISIS has refocused on the cities of Homs and Deir ez Zour and moved forces away from key areas in Iraq that the Russians have been bombing, Henman said.

    So while ISIS has been launching fewer attacks on Iraqi territory, they are more ferocious. And the numbers compiled by IHS Jane's appear to bear that out:

    Last year, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, ISIS launched 250 attacks in Iraq that claimed 999 lives. During the same time period, ISIS staged 524 attacks in Syria that left 506 dead.