In at least two instances, negotiations with the Islamic State led to significant results: the withdrawal of militants from the Lebanese town of Arsal and the under-reported liberation in early July of 46 Indian nurses in Iraq (Mosul).
What are these two cases telling us about ISIS? Can it be inferred that negotiations with the group are an option
On August 2nd , ISIS launched an offensive on the city of Arsal following the arrest by Lebanese security forces of Imad Ahmed Joumaa, a Jihadist who had recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
ISIS was apparently in a position of strength – the militants took over the city in a blitzkrieg-style attack within a few hours and were later joined by Jabhat al Nusra. They were however strategically vulnerable, surrounded by the Lebanese army in a Hezbollah-dominated area, the Bekaa Valley.