ISIS Has Recruited 6,000 New Fighters Since U.S. Launched Air Attacks

ISIS is reportedly making the best of the U.S. air strikes that have struck their positions in Iraq and Syria, using the American involvement to pull thousands of new fighters to their cause.

The Islamist jihadist group, which is also known as Islamic State, has reportedly recruited more than 6,000 new fighters since the United States began striking military targets this summer in support of Iraqi and Kurdish forces. The U.S. has conducted more than 160 air strikes since August, striking a number of targets and killing dozens of fighters.

But while some of the strikes have helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces regain ground taken over by ISIS this year, others warn that the airstrikes could have an undesired side effect. Some rebel commanders also fighting against Syrian president Bashar Assad have warned that the strikes are turning many locals against the United States, and driving droves of new fighters to ISIS.

As Hareetz noted, some of the recruitment success may have to do with ISIS’s effective social media campaign:

“IS runs aggressive social media-led recruitment campaigns in the Middle East and targets young Muslims in the West with slick English-language propaganda videos and digital magazines.

“The bulk of the foreign fighters who have signed up in the past six weeks are aged between 15 and 20-years-old and have never been involved in a conflict before, according to Abdurrahman Saleh, a spokesman for the Islam Army, part of the Islamic Front rebel group.

“The Islamic State receives approximately 20 new recruits a day in the town of north-west Syrian town al-Bab alone, Saleh told The Times newspaper. There are ‘hundreds’ of other towns in Syria seeing a similar level of arrival, he added.”

While ISIS may be winning some recruiting success, the militant group is also facing a growing coalition of opponents. Dozens of nations have now joined the United States in offering support to opposing troops and conducting strikes of their own. Even Iran has joined in, vowing to strike ISIS “deep” within Iraq.

Share this article: ISIS Has Recruited 6,000 New Fighters Since U.S. Launched Air Attacks
More from Inquisitr