The Islamic State has lost at least 30 percent of the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria, reported the US-led coalition fighting the extremist Islamic group on Tuesday.
Spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told reporters that ISIS has lost 40 percent of its territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria and that the group is now in a “defensive crouch.”
Since the coalition began launching airstrikes at ISIS-held territory in 2014, Kurdish forces on the ground have pushed ISIS out of parts of northern Iraq and Syrian territory along the Turkish border. Last year, Iraqi forces and Shiite militias recaptured the Iraqi city of Tikrit.
Last month, in one of the biggest victories for the coalition since it began fighting ISIS, US-trained Iraqi forces, backed by US-led airstrikes, recaptured the capital city of Ramadi from ISIS forces, which had held it since May.
Military officials say that the recent victories signal a significant setback for ISIS. In a press conference, Warren told reporters, “The enemy is weaker and on the defensive. They have not gained one inch in Iraq since May.”
While ground offensives attempt to take back captured territory, the US-led airstrikes are aimed at disrupting ISIS’s sources of revenue by destroying the oil fields and supplies that the Islamic State controls. The airstrikes also target ISIS’s ammunition depots, vehicles, buildings, and infrastructure in the hopes of destabilizing the jihadist state.