More than 10,000 ISIL men killed in 9 months: US
REUTERS PhotoMore than 10,000 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters have been killed since the international coalition started its campaign against the militant group nine months ago in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on June 3.
Speaking after the coalition met in Paris, he said there had been a great deal of progress in the fight against Islamic State but that the group remained resilient and capable of taking the initiative.
“We have seen a lot of losses within Daesh since the start of this campaign, more than 10,000,” Blinken said on France Inter radio, using a mildly derogatory term for ISIL. “It will end up having an impact.”
On June 2, Western and Arab states carrying out air strikes on Islamic State fighters backed Iraq’s plan for retaking territory after being accused by the Iraqi premier of not doing enough to help Baghdad push back the insurgents.
“At the start of this campaign [we] said it would take time,” he said. “We have conceived a three-year plan and we’re nine months into it.”
Separately, the task of countering foreign fighter flows could not rest with Turkey alone. Turkey’s borders with Syria and Iraq were the “last line of defense”, U.S. envoy to Syria, John Allen, has said.
“The task of countering foreign fighter flows could not rest with Turkey alone;” he said.