ISIS isn’t the only military to use propaganda in the middle east conflict – the U.S. Air Force announced on Saturday that it dropped a second set of propaganda leaflets in mid-May to help control the narrative of the quickly escalating conflict.
The leaflet pushes back at the ISIS narrative that it will inevitably control the region, said Nicholas Heras, an expert at the Washington think tank Center for a New American Security
The message dropped on may 17th, written in Arabic, warns ISIS fighters that they can be killed at any time and specifically references the killing of one of its leaders, Abu Sayyaf, in a commando raid last month.
“Your area of control is dwindling and growing smaller daily,” it reads in Arabic. “We have killed many of your leaders and countless fighters. We can strike you anytime, anywhere, and you are powerless to stop us. We will never quit, and you are destined to lose your war. The clock of your destruction is ticking, and zero hour is very near.”
“We have struck you in the heart of your claimed territory, and we have taken an Emir while you could do nothing about it” the leaflet reads, referring to the commando raid.
The leaflet uses both words and pictures to drive the message home.
A previous leaflet, dropped in March, shows ISIS recruits waiting in line while monster-like figures fed them into a meat grinder.
The messages were dropped via an F-15E Strike Eagle jet over the city of Raqqa. Approximately 60,000 copies were scattered, although the city’s population may now number over 800,000 since civil war started.
The leaflet drop comes on the heels of numerous recent ISIS successes, notably the capture of Ramadi, the Iraqi provincial capital, and Palmyra, the Syrian city with ancient treasures.
The propaganda could be intended to start a revolt among locals against ISIS control at approximately the United States launches a major offensive in the region.
The United States has been markedly disinterested in the region to date, with bombing missions often returning to base without dropping any munitions.