US Defense claims ISIS Loses Control of Once-dominated Iraq Territory

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MIL OSI – Source: United States Department of Defense – ISIL Loses Control of Once-dominated Iraq Territory

By Terri Moon Cronk

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ISIS in Iraq map (April 13 2015 ).WASHINGTON, April 13, 2015 – Some 25 percent to 30 percent of Iraqi territory has been taken back from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist group control by coalition forces, Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters today.

Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, showed reporters a color-coded map of key populated sites in northern and central Iraq where ISIL was once the dominant force before Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve pushed the terrorists back.

Overall, he said, the map shows how “the combination of coalition air power and Iraqi ground forces are having an effect on the enemy’s ability to hold territory and to have freedom of maneuver,” he said.

“This equates to approximately 5,000 square miles to 6,000 square miles [of Iraq territory] since the peak of [ISIL] territorial influence in Iraq in August 2014,” Warren noted. “ISIL has lost large areas where it was once dominant.”

Essentially, he added, the ISIL front line has been pushed either west or south, depending on location, he said, in integral areas such as Erbil, Babil, Baghdad and the Kirkuk governances.

Coalition Maintains Pressure on ISIL

“Among other strategic infrastructure and sizeable towns where ISIL has lost territory are Mosul Dam, Zummar and the vicinity of Sinjar Mountain,” Warren said.

The corridor north of Tikrit has been “substantially retaken by friendly forces,” Warren said. With offensive pressure on ISIL, he said he expects Tikrit also will be cleared from ISIL “relatively soon.”

Beiji and a nearby oil refinery is still contested, and will continue to be the focus of airstrikes, he said.

While it is too early to say the tide of the battle is turning in Iraq, Iraqi security forces, along with coalition air power, “have unquestionably inflicted some damage on ISIL and have pushed ISIL back in a somewhat meaningful way,” Warren said.

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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