ISIS boosts attacks while losing territory in Iraq and Syria

Islamic State has increased its attacks in Iraq and Syria to the highest level since 2014, according to a report by IHS Janes.

The defence think tank says there were 891 attacks and 2,150 "non-militant" fatalities recorded in the first three months of this year.

Those figures represent an increase of 16.7% and 43.9% respectively on the last quarter of 2015.

Matthew Henman, Head of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, said: "Attack and fatality numbers have jumped.

"The group is resorting more and more to mass-casualty violence as it comes under heavy pressure from multiple angles."

There is further sobering news for Syria as the report concludes that Jabhat al-Nusra has successfully established itself within the militant Islamist opposition and is arguably "a more dangerous long-term threat in the country than the Islamic State".

The blunt analysis also finds Islamic State attacks in Libya are "intensifying" after "a several month slump".

Almost as many attacks were recorded in the first three months of 2016 as in the third and fourth quarters on 2015 combined.

Henman said: "After a seeming period of consolidation and preparation, Islamic State forces in the country launched a series of major attacks on critical energy infrastructure in addition to conducting the deadliest single attack since the overthrow of the government of Muammar Qaddafi in August 2011.

The report identifies the northwest town of Sabratha as a key training ground for Islamic State to stage attacks across the border in Tunisia.

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