Due to international air strikes with support from ground forces, the so-called “Islamic State” has lost roughly 40 percent of its territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria, according to military officials.
“The enemy is weaker and on the defensive,” Colonel Steve Warren said in a press conference. “They have not gained one inch in Iraq since May.”
After fighting in the region as part of al-Qaeda, ISIS split in February 2014 and swept through a third of Iraq to reach the borders of Baghdad, while seizing towns and cities in the Syrian civil war, according to the Independent.
Isis just lost 40 per cent of its territory https://t.co/gAysYPwHyd
— The Independent (@Independent) January 5, 2016
The U.S. and its allies are supporting Kurdish militias and the Iraqi army in their attempts in beating back ISIS in Iraq. Much of the recent success in the cites of Ramadi and Tikrit were made possible by Iraq army, coupled with U.S. air strikes, in successful counter-offensives.
International air strikes on ISIS’s revenue streams — oil fields, ammunition depots, vehicles, buildings and other infrastructure — have helped in turning the tide of the war, putting the militants on the defensive.
A statement from the American Combined Joint Task Force said that coalition members from 14 different countries had trained more than 17,500 Iraqi soldiers, Peshmerga fighters and tribal forces who are stationed at the re-taken areas.
“This training is critical to enabling Iraqi Security Forces counter Daesh (Isis) as they work to regain and secure territory from the terrorist group,” a spokesperson said.
Watch a statement from British prime minister David Cameron below:
Featured image via Flickr
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