On May 21, I posted Seizures of Ramadi and Palmyra Suggest Islamic State, Despite Setbacks, Still on a Roll. On May 22, the author of a New York Times op-ed begged to disagree with those who hold that sentiment. In Calm Down. ISIS Isn’t Winning, Ahmed Ali writes:
The fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Sunday, and of the Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday, is a big gain for the Islamic State, but not an utter disaster, as many observers fear.
The attack on Ramadi was a sign of desperation, not strength … it wanted to give its adherents a psychological boost. … It took 16 months of continual clashes with tenacious Iraqi security forces and loyal Sunni tribes before the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, could take Ramadi.