Islamic State lose only one per cent of captured territory in Iraq after airstrikes

Female fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units outside the Iraqi town of Snoun, close to the Syrian border (Reuters)

Islamic State jihadists have lost only a tiny fraction of captured territory in Iraq after five months of US-led air strikes, the Pentagon said Friday.

Kurdish peshmerga forces and Iraqi government troops have retaken 270 square miles of ground mostly in northern Iraq, but the IS group still holds 30,000 square miles, spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.

That amounts to roughly one percent of IS-held territory changing hands since the US launched air raids in Iraq on August 8.

Kirby acknowledged that not much ground had been gained back so far but said that the air strikes had halted the momentum of the jihadists and bought time for the training of Baghdad government forces.

“I think we all recognise that it’s a small percentage of the total right now. But we’re only six, seven months into this thing, too,” he said.

The US military has made clear the campaign against IS “is going to take time, to uproot these guys and to really get at them,” he said…

  • Millie_Woods

    “…we’re only six, seven months into this thing…”

    At the current rate ‘this thing’ will take a hundred years.

    Contrast that with Operation Enduring Freedom, engineered by the Bush administration. Six months after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. and it’s allies controlled virtually all of Afghanistan and Taliban survivors were in a headlong flight to Pakistan and Iran.

    • Frau Katze

      As you can from one the labels chosen, I expect them to be around for quite some time.

  • Icebow

    Everything on the ground, with absolute air support, now, and until they are gone.

  • Stronger Than Dirt

    If … if they’re ‘fighting’ like hamas … hiding in school yards, mosques, hospitals … makes it rather difficult to wage an air campaign.

  • simus1

    Wars against third world freakazoids are the easiest missions possible.
    All you need is an iron fist in an iron glove and a talent for correcting leftist bullshitters who mistakenly think they can crap on you with impunity.