In the days leading up to the Islamic State’s defeat in Mosul, the terrorist group turned to its propaganda arm to disseminate charges of American-led coalition forces of killing scores of civilians.
The spokesman for the anti-ISIS coalition campaign in Baghdad, Col. Ryan Dillon, said the aim was two-fold: to pressure American-led forces to halt airstrikes and to turn the civilian population against Iraqi troops.
“That is their overall goal—they do not want us to continue to strike because those strikes do help Iraqi Security Forces advance into ISIS-held territory,” Dillon told the Washington Free Beacon. “Number two, they point fingers at us and say the coalition is responsible for strikes to incite hatred against us.”
ISIS shifted rapidly from a narrative of resilience to victimization as it was squeezed out of Mosul, once its de facto capital in Iraq. Where the group previously touted battlefield victories, it began criticizing U.S.-led forces for killing civilians and destroying infrastructure.