BAGHDAD Islamic State has missing most of the territory it has held in Iraq because 2014, an Iraqi armed service spokesman explained on Tuesday.
At the height of its electricity, the militant team managed about 40 per cent of Iraq, joint operations command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told a information meeting.
That area has been whittled down to about six.8 per cent of Iraqi territory immediately after intensive armed service operations, which are nonetheless going on in the metropolis of Mosul, he explained.
Islamic State militants nonetheless regulate the cities of Qaim, Tal Afar and Hawija in Iraq, as perfectly as Raqqa, their de-facto cash in Syria.
The coalition battling Islamic State is created up of tens of thousands of members of the Iraqi security forces, led by the military, and thousands of Shi’ite volunteers, quite a few from militia groups, commonly referred to as the Preferred Mobilization Models (PMU).
The United States and other Western countries have assisted with air support, intelligence and products, Rasool explained.
The struggle for Mosul, 1 of Iraq’s largest cities, began final October and the final result will probably determine whether Iraq’s various sects can get the job done alongside one another to continue to keep the nation from fracturing.
The eastern half of the metropolis is now entirely less than the regulate of Iraqi security forces, Rasool explained. But the press against Islamic State in Western Mosul is bogged down with Iraqi security forces fighting in a warren of tiny streets in the old part of the metropolis.
The federal police explained in a assertion on Tuesday they have been reinforcing their positions in Western Mosul in planning for a press on the al-Nuri Mosque in which Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014.
Islamic State has used hundreds of car bombs along with drones rigged with explosives in Mosul. Its fighters have pulled civilians into the conflict by placing snipers in residential places, using civilians as human shields and executing people who check out to escape, coalition spokesman Col. John Dorrian explained at the information meeting.
Dorrian explained the battle in Western Mosul had been rough but explained Islamic State fighters had no escape.
“Do not lose sight of the reality that even though the fighting is going to be pretty really hard, this enemy is entirely surrounded,” Dorrian explained. “They are not going wherever.”
(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh and Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad Modifying by Janet Lawrence)