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Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – The U.S. Department of Defense (Pentagon) said that the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) has lost about 30% of the territory under its control in Iraq since the start of the airstrikes by the U.S.-led international coalition’s warplanes and the Iraqi forces ground operations.
The IS radicals took over large areas in northern and western Iraq a few months ago after a surprise attack led to the collapse of the Iraqi forces under the leadership of the former Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki.
Following IS control over major parts of Iraq, thousands of civilians have been displaced, taking shelter in other areas of Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region.
The Pentagon said that after months of the start of the air campaign carried out by the U.S.-led coalition, the Islamic State’s control over parts of Iraq has declined.
Col. Steven Warren, the Pentagon spokesman, said that IS has been pushed back and its power has considerably declined.
“The Iraqi security forces and the coalition has caused IS remarkable damage,” he added.
Warren pointed out that the group has lost between 13,000-17,000 square kilometers, particularly in northern and central Iraq.
Since August, the international coalition launched 3244 air raids on IS locations, 1879 of which were conducted in Iraq, and 1365 raids took place in Syria. The Pentagon figures show that the United States implemented 80 % of these raids.
The Pentagon spokesman said that the IS group still retains its impact on the ground, losing territory around Kobane, while reporting gains in the outskirts of Damascus and Homs in Syria.
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri
Source: ARA News