Turkey's incursion into northeastern Syria appears to be giving Islamic State new life, but U.S. counterterrorism officials caution the terror group's next moves are far from certain.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, warn Islamic State is well-versed in using regional conflicts to its advantage, having done so in Iraq in 2005-2006, and again in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
And they note that IS has used the seven months since the fall in March of its last territorial stronghold in Baghuz, Syria, to lay a foundation of "dispersed networks" — comprising an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 fighters — for a prolonged and vicious insurgency.
"It is not clear at this time how ISIS may adjust their strategy in Syria in light of the Turkish incursion," a U.S. counterterrorism official told VOA, using an acronym for the terror group.
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