Report: Islamic State militants being killed at level they cannot sustain

By REUTERS
February 28, 2017 20:48
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LONDON - The US-led coalition effort against Islamic State is killing the group's fighters more quickly than it can replace them, a senior British general said on Tuesday, with more than 45,000 killed by coalition air strikes up to August last year.

On Tuesday, US-backed Iraqi forces continued their offensive in Mosul, where several thousand Islamic State (IS) militants, including many who traveled from Western countries to join up, are believed to be based.

"We are killing Daesh at a rate that they simply can't sustain," said Major General Rupert Jones, deputy commander for the Combined Joint Task Force coalition, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

"The enemy cannot sustain the attrition that they are suffering and therefore they lose terrain, they lose battles."

The top American commander in Iraq said earlier this month he believed US-backed forces would recapture Islamic State's two major strongholds - Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq - within the next six months.

Jones said that while the battle would not be over with the fall of Mosul or Raqqa, it would be the beginning of the end.

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