THE Islamic State (IS) is no longer considered a military threat in Iraq and Syria, a spokesman for the US-led global coalition against the terrorist group.
Colonel Ryan Dillon of the US Central Command’s Operation Inherent Resolve said the IS has lost nearly all of the territory it used to hold as a result of the continuous operations by coalition forces in the region.
Dillon, in a telephonic press briefing on Monday night, noted that these operations have resulted in the liberation of more than 7.5 million people from the control of IS in Iraq and in Syria.
“More importantly Daesh (IS) has not regained a single meter of that territory,” Dillon said in the press briefing. “They are no longer a military threat meaning they no longer have an army that we saw in 2014.”
Dillon also said that the terrorist organization also lost its financial resources that would have enabled it to carry out attacks in other places.
The oil and energy structures from which IS used to draw its funds for its operations are all gone now and only those hardcore foreign and local fighters have been left to continue the crusade.
“They (IS) no longer have urban areas and people to tax and manufacture their weapons. So their ability to finance and resource their operations has been seriously impacted in a negative way,” he added.
But Dillon made it clear that it did not mean that operations against the terrorist group have ended and that they were continuously monitoring the situation to see how the enemy would adapt to the situation.
The coalition, Dillon added, would provide security forces in Iraq and Syria for support in terms of training and intelligence to defeat IS in the region.
Dillon said security in Syria and Iraq were now being managed by the Raqqa and Iraqi forces whose main mission was to make sure that remnants of IS would not be able to move outside the region. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA