Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

ISIS Launches 'Operation Vengeance for Sham'

ISIS Launches 'Operation Vengeance for Sham'

Monday, 15 April, 2019 - 08:15
Syrian Democratic Forces fighters celebrate victory in Raqqa (Reuters)
Washington - Mohammed Ali Saleh

The so-called ISIS state launched a global campaign “Vengeance for Sham” after it was officially defeated, and sent messages to its affiliates all over the world claiming attacks, who have in fact begun executing, according to a US report.

The report, published by Washington-based “The Defense Post”, indicated that on April 8, ISIS started what it called “the Campaign of Vengeance for the blessed Wilayat al-Sham,” claiming attacks around the world under this banner.

“Vengeance for Sham" appears to be a mix of a coordinated campaign alongside opportunistic branding of attacks that would have been carried out anyway in an attempt to restate the group’s capabilities following the fall of its self-declared caliphate.”

However, outside of claiming attacks in its name, ISIS made no announcements about the campaign. The name suggests it was started with the intention of carrying out attacks for the loss of territory in Syria and Iraq.

On March 23, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the total defeat of ISIS’s territorial "caliphate", following the liberation of Baghuz, in eastern Syria.

The report noted that the campaign may be branded as “Vengeance for Sham”, however, it has global dimensions with attacks in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Niger, Nigeria, Libya, and Russia claimed as part of it. In addition, between April 8 and 10, 14 statements were issued for attacks in Iraq, and 10 in Syria.

Recently, ISIS issued statements for attacks under this campaign in most of its external "Wilayat": three in both West Africa and Sinai; two each in Somalia, Khorasan of Afghanistan, and Libya; and one in "Wilayat" Caucasus.

The report said that Yemen and East Asia are the only active ISIS "Wilayat" which have not had claimed attacks of the campaign.

All attacks have been announced on ISIS’s official Nashir channel, but none of the standard short statements had the campaign’s slogan. News about the attacks were also on Amaq channel, which the report described as “an ostensibly independent news agency but in reality it is run by ISIS directly.”

Editor Picks