Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | isis | military | bombing | campaign | fighters | killed

US General: Airstrikes Have Killed 'More Than 8,500' ISIS Fighters

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Mar 2015 07:42 PM

The United States military bombing campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) has killed upwards of 8,500 fighters, according to a top U.S. general.

Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, revealed the figure in front of the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Austin said ISIS, which he referred to as ISIL, "has assumed a defensive crouch" in Iraq, according to Military.com.

Special: Find Out Everything You Need to Know About the Rise of ISIS — Click Here

Adding that the terror group is playing defense in Syria, Austin said the U.S. bombing campaign, which began last August, has been quite lethal.

"We're about where we said we would be," Austin said. "[The offensive] has killed more than 8,500 ISIL fighters.

"Make no mistake, ISIL is losing this fight. He will be defeated. He will be defeated."

Austin did say, however, the Middle East is "more chaotic than I have seen it at any point."

Last week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said ISIS has a force of as many as 31,000, which includes about 20,000 foreigners, reports Military.com.

The U.S. has targeted ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq since last summer. Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said in January the campaign is putting ISIS "largely on the defensive."

More recently, U.S. missiles hit eight units of ISIS forces in Syria last week.

Meanwhile, in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, Clapper said Turkey is not pulling its weight in the fight against ISIS — despite having the terror group on its border with Syria.

"I think Turkey has other priorities and other interests," Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Public opinion polls show in Turkey they don't see ISIL as a primary threat. And of course, the consequence of that is a permissive environment... because of their laws and the ability of people to travel through Turkey en route to Syria.

Special: ISIS: Everything you need to know about the rise of the militant group — Click Here

"So somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 percent of those foreign fighters find their way to Syria through Turkey."

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The United States military bombing campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) has killed upwards of 8,500 fighters, according to a top U.S. general.
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2015-42-03
Tuesday, 03 Mar 2015 07:42 PM
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