Ash Carter. Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Aston Carter said on Monday that U.S. Cyber Command is launching waves of attacks on the Islamic State’s social media and communication networks to disrupt the terror army’s ability to give orders and recruit.

While guarded in his explanation, Mr. Carter said the attacks are aimed at “overloading so they cannot function” on various Internet platforms, while disrupting command and control.

This is something that is new in this war

He indicated that most attacks are aimed at Islamic State computer networks in Syria, where it has established its capital in the city of Raqqa.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs chairman, said cyber attacks in Syria and Iraq are part of the preparation for retaking cities, especially Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

“We are Isolating Mosul even as we speak,” said Gen. Dunford, referring to bombing runs designed to cut off supply routes into and out of the city.

Much of Islamic State’s overall strategy relies heavily on social media and Internet communications to recruit fighters and urge Islamists around the world to mount terror attacks.