Good News From Iraq: ISIS Setbacks

The horrific video released this weekend by Islamic State (ISIS) captured more attention than the surprise visit to Iraq on Saturday by the United States’ top military commander, but both events masked another trend: ISIS is suffering setbacks, with Iraqi forces reclaiming some territory lost this summer.

More than three months after ISIS extremists threatened to sweep into this capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a combination of U.S. and coalition airstrikes and some ground action has won back some territory claimed by ISIS, including Baiji, a strategic town with a major oil refinery.

In parts of northern Iraq, particularly within the disputed territories, Kurdish pesh merga forces have consolidated their positions and started to roll back ISIS.

But numerous discussions this past week with KRG leaders and top figures in the Sunni Arab community driven out of Mosul indicate that the campaign against ISIS in northern Iraq will have many challenges.

This article was originally published in The Wall Street Journal.