“[The Islamic State] is solidifying its control in Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria,” said a U.S. intelligence official. “They attack or entrench themselves in towns and military bases near key facilitation routes that connect population hubs they now control such as Raqqa [Syria], Fallujah, and Mosul.”
On Sunday, Islamic State militants in northern Iraq drove out Kurdish troops and seized control of the two small towns of Zumar and Sinjar, officials and residents said.
The Islamic State, then known as al Qaeda in Iraq, began a violent campaign of car bombings in and around Baghdad once U.S. troops left in December 2011. Some vehicles have carried suicide bombers; others have been detonated remotely. Combined, they have killed hundreds of Iraqis.
If they have to hold territory, then it’s a lot easier to kill them with artillery, missiles, and bombs.