Pentagon: Islamic State loses ground in Iraq, gains in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — Islamic State militants have lost control of up to 6,500 square miles (16,800 sq. kilometers) in Iraq but have gained a bit of ground in Syria since last August, the Pentagon said Monday.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the front lines of the territory held by the Islamic State group have been pushed farther south and west in Iraq. But the militants still control a wide swath of land stretching from west and south of Sinjar down through Mosul and across Bayji, including the oil refinery there, which is still contested.

A new map released by the Pentagon shows that U.S. and coalition forces regained key territory near Tikrit, Sinjar Mountain and Mosul Dam.

U.S. administration officials have said that coalition airstrikes and the ground campaign being waged by Iraqi forces have led to the gains, particularly lately around Tikrit. But Warren said it is too early to say whether the tide of battle has turned.

The airstrikes have not had the same success in Syria, where the Islamic State militants have largely held onto a broad area across the north and east. Warren said that although Islamic State militants were driven out of Kobani, in northern Syria, they have maintained their influence across the country and gained some ground around Homs and Damascus.

 

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s