State Department warns Islamic State, al Qaeda have adapted after 'major strides' by US

State Department warns Islamic State, al Qaeda have adapted after 'major strides' by US
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The State Department on Wednesday warned that terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) have "adjusted" their methods and adapted after major territorial gains made by U.S.-aligned forces in the Middle East.

Reuters reports that in its annual report this week, the State Department warned that long-established terrorist groups that have battled U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria have gone underground and adopted further clandestine methods to hide their activity amid U.S. ground success.

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Terrorist groups have become “more dispersed and clandestine,” the report asserts, adding that the groups have worked to make “themselves less susceptible to conventional military action.”

ISIS, al Qaeda, and affiliated groups have “proven to be resilient, determined and adaptable, and they have adjusted to heightened counterterrorism pressure in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere,” the report continues.

The release of the report comes amid a major decrease in terrorist attacks in Iraq, Reuters reports, thanks to success against ISIS terrorists by Iraqi security forces.

U.S. counter-terrorism coordinator Nathan Sales, whose office produced the report under a mandate by Congress, told Reuters that militant groups such as ISIS continue to retain “both the capability and the intent to strike the United States and its allies.”

Success against ISIS and other terrorist groups comes as the Trump administration has announced the end of funding for stabilization efforts in Syria, considered a major breeding ground for armed extremist groups.

The State Department "continues to work with the international community, members of the Coalition, and our partners on the ground to provide much needed stabilization support to vulnerable areas in Syria," the agency said in a statement last month.