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What is ISIS’s Next Step?

Like an amoeba, ISIS continues to mutate and develop in confounding directions. In reports that could not be confirmed by foreign sources, the Syrian government announced over the weekend that it had made decisive advances east, towards Aleppo. If true, the move would open up critical highways and transport routes for the Syrian government forces.

At the same time, it would reassure Western leaders that Russia’s military support for Syria’s efforts in the 4-yar-old civil war are working to annihilate ISIS, and are not aimed against smaller rebel allied with the West.

In another boost for Syria, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said over the weekend that he could envisage the participation of Syrian government troops in the general effort against ISIS. This seemingly spontaneous declaration flies in the face of western policy and of French president Fran├žois Hollande’s stated goal, to unseat the regime of Syria’s dictator, Bashar el Assad.

The disarray may serve ISIS, that is trying to reposition itself as a movement with global reach, and with a new base in the Libyan city of Surt that could serve as a Plan B if the group is pushed out of Syria and Iraq.

Surt, a Mediterranean coats city, is 400 miles southeast of Sicily.