ISIS territory shrinks in Iraq and Syria: US-led coalition

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BAGHDAD 5 (Reuters) -- Islamic State's territory shrank by 40 percent from its maximum expansion in Iraq, and by 20 percent in Syria in 2015, as international forces pushed it out of several cities, the U.S.-led coalition fighting it said on Tuesday.

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There was no immediate comment from the hardline Islamist group on the estimates from the coalition, made up of countries including Britain, France and Jordan that have been bombing its positions.

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ISIS territory shrinks in Iraq and Syria: US-led coalition
A Coalition airstrike destroys a Daesh weapons storage warehouse near Fallujah, Iraq to disrupt terrorist operations. The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the Daesh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, and the wider international community. The destruction of Daesh targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct operations.
This video depicts a strike against an ISIL ammunition bunker near Bayji, Iraq. The strikes were conducted as part of Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to project power and conduct operations. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition Nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the U.S., Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Airstrike against ISIL bunker conducted 4 November near Bayji, Iraq.
Operational video of a U.S. airstrike against an ISIL logistics base west of Mosul, Iraq Oct. 27
U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft conducted an airdrop Oct. 27 in the vicinity of Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, to provide humanitarian aid for delivery by Iraqi Security Forces to members of the Iraqi Albu Nimr tribe. The aircraft delivered more than 7,000 halal meals which were retrieved by ISF and delivered to the tribe who recently relocated from their homes near Hit, Iraq, to flee ISIL aggression. The C-130 aircraft, which are deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, exited the airdrop zone safely.
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"We believe in Iraq it's about 40 percent ... And Syria, harder to get a good number, we think it's around 20," coalition spokesman U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren told a press briefing in Baghdad.

Islamic State swept through a third of Iraq in 2014, seizing Mosul, the largest city in the north, and reaching the vicinity of Baghdad.

Counter-offensives by Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces supported by the U.S.-led coalition, and by Iran-backed Shi'ite militias have forced them out of several cities since, including Tikrit, north of Baghdad, and Ramadi, to the west last month.

In Syria, Islamic State is fighting the army of President Bashar al-Assad and other rebel groups opposed to his rule. It is facing air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition and by Russia which has sent warplanes to support its ally, the Syrian government.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi last month said 2016 will be the year of "final victory" on the hardline group.

Watch more coverage:

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