The US-led military coalition, which is purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, says the terror outfit has already lost 95 percent of the cross-border “caliphate” it declared three years ago in the two Middle Eastern countries.
“Since our coalition was formed in 2014”, the Daesh terror group “has lost 95 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria,” Washington's envoy to the coalition, Brett McGurk, said late Wednesday, following a meeting in Jordan.
He noted that so far more than “7.5 million people” had been liberated from the grips of Daesh during the past three years, adding that the terror group’s finances were also “at their lowest levels to date.”
Daesh started its campaign of terror in Iraq and Syria in 2014 and swiftly seized a territory roughly the size of Britain after declaring a cross-border “caliphate.” It also managed to radicalize and recruit thousands of people, mostly youngsters, from a number of countries and turned them into ruthless militants.
However, the terror group’s initial swift expansion gradually stopped a year later, and it began losing ground to government troops, backed by Russian airstrikes, in Syria and the armed forces, backed by the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known by its Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, in Iraq.
Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and Syria’s northern city of Raqqah, which were used to be Daesh’s de facto capitals in the Middle Eastern countries, were fully liberated in July and October this year respectively. The liberating forces in both countries are now combating the terror outfit to free the last remaining localities from its grips.
The US-led coalition of 68 nations has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. Such air raids began in Iraq in August of the same year.
The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has recently said that a total of 42,234 documented airstrikes in the country resulted in a minimum estimate of some 7,000 civilian deaths by the US-led coalition between 2014 and 2017.
Syria has time and again expressed its strong opposition to the presence of unwelcome US-led coalition within its borders, calling on the United Nations to prevent the so-called military alliance from continuing its operations in the Arab country.
On October 4, the Syrian Foreign Ministry, in two separate letters sent to UN Secretary General António Guterres and UN Security Council rotating President François Delattre, criticized the international community’s silence vis-à-vis US atrocities in the Arab country.
Russia said recently that the US wiped the city of Raqqah “off the face of the earth” with carpet bombing in the same way the United States and Britain bombed Germany's Dresden in 1945.