21:18 GMT24 February 2021
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    The number of individuals affiliated with Daesh is at its lowest level since the US began its campaign against the terror group in August 2014, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In late 2015, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter estimated there were roughly 30,000 Daesh fighters, an assessment that has remained relatively unchanged since 2014.

    "We assess Daesh’s numbers are the lowest they have been since we began monitoring their manpower in 2014," Blinken said at a Brookings Institution conference on countering violent extremism.

    Blinken referred to the US-led military campaign against Daesh as "increasingly successful," noting that the United States and its coalition partners have recaptured as much as 40 percent of the territory once held by Daesh in Iraq, and ten percent of the territory the terror group held in Syria.

    The US-led coalition against Daesh has carried out more than 10,000 strikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014. Despite coalition efforts, Daesh maintains control over large swaths of territory, including the city Mosul in Iraq and the group’s de facto "capital" in Raqqa, Syria.

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    Tags:
    anti-terrorist coalition, Daesh, US
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