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|موضوع: Jan. 24, 2015 Airstrikes have killed 6,000 IS militants, but signs suggest this won't save Iraq الإثنين 26 يناير 2015, 9:57 pm|| |
Jan. 24, 2015
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Airstrikes have killed 6,000 IS militants, but signs suggest this won't save Iraq
The Islamic State has been hurt by U.S. airstrikes, but it may not be enough to save Iraq
- اقتباس :
LOS ANGELES, CA (CATHOLIC ONLINE): The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Stuart Jones has revealed that more than 6,000 fighters have been killed by coalition airstrikes. This toll includes half of the top commanders for the Islamic State.
During an interview with Al Arabiya television, Jones said that this estimate, which was made by U.S. Central Command utilizing a running figure since the start of the operation, was not made public beforehand.
U.S. intelligence services estimate that the Islamic State only has about 9,000 to 18,000 fighters actively engaged in the ongoing war in Iraq and Syria. But these same sources suggest that shifting loyalty and a pressing need could give the Islamic State a fighting force of about 31,000.
Chuck Hagel, U.S. Defense Secretary, did not confirm that 6,000 fighters had been killed, but he did admit that the airstrikes had killed "thousands."
Referring to the ongoing airstrike campaign Hagel said: "It's a measure but I don't think it's the measure.
"I was in a war where we did body counts and we lost that one," he said.
This new body count may be a response to recent criticism from Iraq, which says the United States is not doing enough to help fight the Islamic State. President Obama said prior to the campaign that the airstrikes would blunt Islamic State advances, and allow the Iraqi defense forces to mobilize, but that only Iraqi ground forces would actually be able to eliminate the Islamic State.
Recently, airstrikes have increased in intensity and tempo around the Mosul area, in support of Kurdish Peshmerga forces who are advancing against the Islamic State. Kurdish fighters have been the only force reliably able to blunt the Islamic State.