File - In this June 23, 2014 photo, fighters from the Islamic State group parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle down a main road at the northern city of Mosul, Iraq. (AP Photo)
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As ISIS tries to expand and take root across the Middle East, it is struggling in Syria – part of its heartland – where it has stalled or even lost ground while fighting multiple enemies on several fronts.Kurdish forces dealt ISIS its heaviest setback by driving it from the border town of Ain al-Arab in northern Syria last month.Around the town of Al-Bab, one of ISIS' westernmost strongholds, the extremists are making tactical withdrawals.The militants are also finding themselves bogged down in costly battles with the government forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.ISIS launched an unsuccessful attack to seize the base last month, and it continues to try.In Iraq, the combination of coalition airstrikes, Kurdish forces, Shiite militias and Iraqi troops have pushed ISIS back around the edges, but the militants succeeded this week in taking new territory for the first time in months.
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