A new study by a defense analysis company indicates there was a 33 percent drop in global terror attacks in 2018, and terrorism fatalities fell to a 10-year low.
Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center released its annual Global Attack Index on Wednesday, saying one of the central reasons for the decrease in incidents and fatalities was the decrease in violence in Syria, where the government has gained control of territory previously occupied by Islamic State militants.
Attacks by IS in 2018 declined by nearly 75 percent compared to 2017.
The study said in addition to Syria, IS was also affected by losses in Iraq, which “noticeably reduced” the militants’ capability to operate, forcing them to switch to “lower intensity insurgent operations.”
With violence down in Syria, Afghanistan became the deadliest country worldwide in 2018 in terms of nonmilitant fatalities. Jane’s said attacks rose by almost one-third last year, while fatalities rose 80 percent.
Ukraine also saw a marked rise in violence. In the east, home to a Russia-backed separatist insurgency, attacks have been rising 18.4 percent over the past year. The report attributed that rise “almost entirely” to two pro-Russia separatist groups operating in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region where the separatist movement is strongest.
The report said it recorded 15,321 attacks in 2018, which resulted in a total of 13,483 nonmilitant fatalities.
Jane’s has been issuing its reports since 2009. It said the 2018 study showed the lowest fatality numbers since it began issuing the report 10 years ago.