Since October 2016, Islamic State (IS) has increasingly been on the defensive. The terrorist group is losing territory in northern Syria – including the historic town of Dabiq lost to Syrian rebels – and is likely to lose the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to Iraqi forces in the coming months. Meanwhile, the group’s Libyan affiliate is close to losing the entirety of its stronghold in Sirte.
While defeating IS in Iraq and Syria is one of the most pressing international security challenges facing the world, equal attention should be paid to the terrorist group’s regional affiliate in Yemen (IS-Y). IS Yemeni affiliate is steadily growing in strength, so much so that when the offensives on Mosul and Raqqa are finally over, IS leadership, as well as the rank-and-file, could potentially relocate their operations to Yemen.