In-between the beginning of 2016 and the end, a land a little smaller than the state of Florida was recaptured by Iraqi and Syrian forces.
Per Newsweek, “This means ISIS lost control of almost 18,000 square kilometers (6,900 square miles) over the last 12 months, bringing the totality of the landmass it holds in the region to 60,400 square kilometers (23,320 square miles)—slightly smaller than Florida.”
Iraqi forces are fighting to regain Mosul, one of the key cities for ISIS to claim they’re a legitimate state.
The Daily Star explains, “ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the so-called ‘caliphate’ from Mosul and if government troops retake the city it would effectively end the group’s claim of running a state.”
Meanwhile in Syria, the Syrian military is trying to retake Raqqa. Raqqa is the capital of ISIS, making it more difficult to retake than other cities that were taken by ISIS.
BBC reports, “‘Raqqa represents the core of the Islamic State and they are unlikely to leave without a fight,’” Mr Strack said. Capturing it would “‘probably take a major ground intervention by one of the main external players.’”
ISIS victims who were injured while fleeing want to know they still have worth and if they are loved despite the violence they face. One reporter was asked a question she would never forget by one such victim.
Samaritan’s Purse is an organization which works in countries around the world that seeks to show Christ’s love to those who are hurting through providing aid work and sharing Christ’s hope to them. They work in many areas other organizations wouldn’t.
Per Samaritan’s Purse, “Khayla’s entire identity was hanging on the words coming out of my mouth. Her question was raw and genuine—was she still beautiful?
As I knelt at her bedside, we wept together, and I declared Scripture over her life. She is beautiful because she is created in the image of God. She is beautiful because she is fearfully and wonderfully made. She is beautiful because Christ calls her His beloved.”
Please pray for ISIS victims, that they would see their worth in Jesus. Also, pray that those cities captured by ISIS would be recaptured. Pray for Samaritan’s Purse, that they would be able to see Christ’s love to those who are hurting.
The Daily Star: ISIS lost nearly a quarter of its territory in 2016: report
Newsweek: ISIS Territory Shrinks by Almost a Quarter in 2016
BBC: Islamic State group ‘lost quarter of territory’ in 2016
Samaritan’s Purse: An ISIS Victim Clings to the Truth of God’s Love