Defense Department: ‘Clandestine’ ISIS Cells Still Operating in Syria, Iraq

A Defense Department report warned Monday that “an effective clandestine ISIS organization appears to be taking hold in” Syria and Iraq. The latest quarterly inspector general’s report on the wars in Iraq and Syria reported that the terrorist group has not been defeated but instead “has largely evolved from a land-holding terrorist entity to an insurgency with a network of clandestine cells.” The report warns that Iraqi security forces are still plagued with corruption, inefficiency, and capability gaps that have allowed ISIS cells to intimidate local populations and carry out attacks. Despite billions in U.S. assistance, Iraqi forces remain “years, if not decades” away from weaning itself off the support of American advisers.