A new report from the research firm IHS says Islamic State lost an area the size of Ireland - a quarter of its territory - to hostile forces in the last 18 months in Iraq and Syria and is likely to further step up attacks on civilians in coming months. Mana Rabiee reports.
On one level, the report about Islamic State's foothold in Iraq and Syria - from the global research firm IHS - is 'good'. It says the militant's self-styled caliphate has lost a quarter of its territory in 18 months of fighting - amounting to the size of Ireland. This, as a disparate collage of hostile forces makes gains on IS -- from the army in Iraq and its allied forces, to a U.S.-led coalition of air strikes, to a broad rebel alliance in Syria. But the news is also grim. The report says militants will likely further step up attacks on civilians in the coming months. 'As the caliphate shrinks', it says, IS is 're-prioritizing RE-PRI-O-RI-TI-ZING its insurgency' -- meaning nations can expect an increase in "mass casualty attacks and sabotage of economic infrastructure". Like the one in Baghdad that killed some 300 people last week. The warning is not just across Iraq and Syria, but further afield, including Europe.