Following spectacular combat gains for two years, the Islamic State (IS) is on the defensive in Iraq and Syria. In 2015, IS lost 14% of the territory it once controlled. It has lost another 8% in just the first three months of this year, according to a new study from IHS Jane's 360.
If IS continues to lose territory at the same pace, some people believe the year 2016 could well be its last. But experts are maintaining a cautious optimism in agreeing with this prediction, which is frequently voiced by Iraqi decision-makers.