US officials: 75 percent of ISIS fighters killed

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 09:45

At least 75% of ISIS fighters have been killed during the campaign of US-led airstrikes, according to US officials.

The US anti-ISIS envoy said the campaign has winnowed ISIS' ranks to between 12,000 and 15,000 "battle ready" fighters, a top US official said on Tuesday.

The figures mean the US and its coalition partners have taken out vastly more ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria than currently remain on the battlefield, two years since the bombing campaign began.

Last week a US official said the coalition had killed 50,000 militants since 2014.

But it's also clear Obama will depart office without fully quashing the terror group, leaving a still-significant battle for Donald Trump when he becomes commander in chief in January.

Speaking at the White House Tuesday, Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, said the terror group is no longer able to replenish its ranks, predicting the number of fighters would continue to dwindle.

"The number of battle-ready fighters inside Iraq and Syria is now at its lowest point that it's ever been," McGurk said, describing the update he gave the President to reporters after the meeting.

He noted that the flow of foreign fighters to ISIS had been stemmed by tighter surveillance and border controls.