As it suffers major setbacks across Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State is doubling back in some areas and retaking territory it lost months ago.

In recent weeks, a group of nearly 4,000 Islamic State (IS) fighters stormed the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria and took control of much of it in a surprise attack. Despite intensive airstrikes by the U.S., Russia and Syria, IS has been able to hold onto much of Palmyra.

IS fighters also succeeded in retaking at least a dozen villages from Syrian government troops and other local forces, including areas in eastern Homs and Deir Ezzor in Syria, and parts of Anbar province in Iraq.

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