Despite the announced defeat of the Islamic State's governance project in Syria in March 2019, IHS Markit continues to record almost daily Islamic State attacks against security forces in the Homs desert.
According to local social media sources, around 2,500-3,000 Islamic State fighters remain in the central desert areas extending from Raqqa in the north to Damascus and Suwayda in the south, Homs in the west to Deir al-Zour in the east, where they enjoy relative freedom of movement. Most of these fighters have local tribal backgrounds and are utilising hideouts in the sparsely populated mountainous terrain, blending in with the local Bedouin population.
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