The incredible shrinking Islamic State
This map shows the fading fortunes of the Islamic State as it has been beaten back on multiple fronts over the past two years. It's based on data collected by analysts at IHS Markit Conflict Monitor, a service that gathers open-source intelligence on the fighting in Syria and Iraq.
The big picture: The Islamic State is losing ground fast, and a final showdown appears to be on the horizon in Syria's Deir al-Zour region, where analysts at IHS Markit have noted a significant uptick in fighting. Axios' Shannon Vavra has more on that upcoming showdown here.
Mosul: The Islamic State made headlines around the world after capturing Mosul — Iraq's second largest city — in June 2014. Since then, though, it has been beaten back into the city's historic center and seen its numbers dwindle after a months-long offensive. The Department of Defense tells Axios that 96 percent of the city has been reclaimed.
Raqqa: Once considered the capital of the self-proclaimed caliphate, this city is under siege by U.S.-backed forces. However, Human rights groups have raised alarms about the effects of heavy coalition bombing.
Deir al-Zour: With Mosul and Raqqa on the verge of falling, the Islamic State's leaders have withdrawn into this Syrian border region, where they could very likely make their last stand.