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The tide is beginning to turn on ISIS, analysts say, with the jihadis losing ground in Iraq and only able to hold on to their positions in Syria.In Ain al-Arab, a Kurdish town on Syria's border with Turkey, weeks of fighting and suicide attacks have cost ISIS dear in manpower and failed to break the defenses of Kurdish fighters.Saadiyah and Jalawla are two towns in such areas, and their recapture last week confirmed that the eastern borders of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's self-proclaimed "caliphate" had begun to roll back.The fear of causing civilian casualties has meant that ISIS strongholds in Mosul, Tikrit and Fallujah have been largely spared by the hundreds of airstrikes carried out since August.The battle for Ain al-Arab, of limited strategic importance but so publicized that its outcome will have a great impact, has killed hundreds of ISIS fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based, anti-regime group.Analysts say ISIS could soon be on the back foot in their Iraqi stronghold of Anbar, a vast region traversed by the Euphrates and parts of which were under insurgent control long before June.
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