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#1 Is it Really the End of ISIS?

Pieter Nanninga

Ask a Scientist
Do you ever feel like that recurring ‘thing’ in the news is really important, but you’re not quite sure why that is? Do you feel like you saw the headlines, but didn’t read the full article? Well, the UG is coming to the rescue! Groningen’s finest researchers are here to share their knowledge to provide context to debatable claims, fake news and ongoing conflicts in the world. In Ask a Scientist experts search for straight answers to your most pressing questions at the cutting edge of knowledge.

#1 Sorry, what did you say? Trump Declares ISIS ‘100%’ Defeated in Syria.
This claim dates from February 2019. But how true is this? Just two weeks after President Donald Trump triumphantly declared the “100 percent” defeat of the Islamic State’s caliphate, his national security advisor, John Bolton, admitted on television that “the ISIS threat will remain” and that this explained why a small “observer force” would now stay in Syria. Is the Caliphate really over? Did the Islamic State lose all its power in Syria and Iraq, or will it be able to stage a comeback in the near future? Is it still able to execute attacks in the region, or in Europe? What does Assad’s (alleged) victory in Syria mean to the future of IS? What happens with the hundreds of IS prisoners – among whom many women and children – in detention camps in the region? And what about the so-called caliph, al-Baghdadi?

So many questions! Pieter Nanninga (Middle Eastern Studies, University of Groningen) has done extensive research on the Islamic State and will provide you with up-to-date insights on the current state of the group and its future in Syria and Iraq.

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