While the Obama administration was compiling a plan to send American advisers to work with Iraqi troops and tribesmen in “lily pad” bases near the frontlines, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant adopted a new strategy. debkafile’s exclusive military and counter-terror sources disclose that ISIS is going underground to pursue guerilla tactics on all five of its active fronts in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egyptian Sinai and the Palestinian Gaza Strip. They turned to this strategy after being impressed by the effectiveness of Hamas' assault and smuggling tunnel system for terrorist assaults on Israel and Egyptian forces in Sinai.
Military experts expect to see soon small, highly-trained squads of ISIS fighters jumping out of underground lairs to strike their victims.
One Western intelligence source told debkafile: This is the end of the long columns of armed jihadis appearing on the horizon to fall on major locations, such as we last saw in mid-May when 400 US-made trucks loaded with thousands of jihadis carrying a variety of weapons captured the central Iraqi city of Ramadi. A similar column from the ISIS base in Raqqa seized the strategic Syrian heritage town of Palmyra.
According to our military experts, the new Islamic State strategy is designed to combat the American “lily pad” plan, whereby small US bases can float from point to point affording small US contingents great flexibility of movement for action.
ISIS is already moving ahead. US pilots have started complaining that as targets for air strikes on the ground ISIS forces have become few and far between.
In Syria, the Islamic State has turned to guerrilla tactics for undermining Hizballah forces on the Qalamoun mountains on the Lebanese border. They keep their heads down until Hizballah seizes territory – and then surround the new positions and pick them off. Nusra Front has joined ISIS in this sector and together they have killed more than 100 Hizballah fighters in the last ten days.