At least 50,000 ISIS militants killed by coalition to date: US official
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A US military official has said that since the US-led coalition began its air campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria two-and-a-half years ago they have killed 50,000 of the jihadists.
The official spoke to AFP under the condition of anonymity and said the 50,000 estimate was conservative estimate.
“I am not into morbid counts but that kind of volume matters, that kind of impact on the enemy,” he said on Thursday.
Since launching its air campaign against ISIS in Iraq in August 2014, and extending it into Syria also the following month, the US has carried out 16,000 airstrikes against the militants. Two-thirds of these strikes were in Iraq, likely because the US had more allies on the ground to work with there.
The official also said that this air campaign has been the “most pristine” ever when it comes to taking steps to avoid killing civilians. The vast majority of bombs dropped were precision-guided weapons, he added.
His comments came as the US spokesman for the coalition, John Dorrian, told Rudaw TV that there are signs on the ground that ISIS are beginning to run low on fighters.
“What we have begun to see is that the forces they are using – fighters that are confronting the Iraqi Security Forces – sometimes they are younger fighters,” he explained.
“Sometimes they are using vehicle-borne improvised explosives devices without the same type of up-armouring that we saw in previous battles, and this is because they are beginning to run out of fighters and they are beginning to run out of resources,” he added.