According to Lt. Gen Sean MacFarland of the United States military, about 50,000 militants owing allegiance to the Islamic State was killed by the US coalition during 2015 and 2016 in Syria and Iraq. This total, although described as conservative, is more than what others have stated in their previous reports.
More troops on the ground
This admission of kills is significant as American leaders have previously expressed great reluctance to publicize exact numbers. It has been noted, however, that the Islamic State was able to replenish its fighting cadre fairly quickly. Lt.Gen MacFarland said that it was possible for the coalition forces to be more aggressive in places like Mosul, but afraid to do so for fear of inflicting civilian casualties. Iraqi forces are presently battling it out to take the city. The latter are suffering heavy casualties in the process.
The Obama administration is mulling over a number of other possibilities, including the possibility of sending extra resources. This comes across as even though there are sufficient numbers of special operations troops on the ground, there could be the possibility of helping the Iraqi troops to hold Mosul after the militant Islamists are thrown out of the war-scarred metropolis. The IS fighters are now bleeding combatants with every passing day. John Dorrian, an Air Force Col., told reporters that younger fighters of adolescent age are being recruited into the battle, while the number of adults is diminishing.
Down but not out
Col. Dorrian said that it has been noticed that vehicles carrying explosive devices are now cruder than before. He noted that although earlier the vehicle bombs were carried over in armored vehicles, Islamic State is now reduced to using normal automobiles. This is a sure sign that the Islamic State is running out of money and other economic resources. He warned that this does not mean that the Islamic militant group is any less dangerous. This state of affairs mean that they continue to be a dangerous organization and will not go down quietly.
Iraqi government fighters are now trying to retake Mosul for seven months now. The fighters have now entered the city’s eastern section. The government forces continue to encounter fierce resistance from the Islamists. The latter took control of this strategically important Iraqi city about two years before. Considerable losses are being suffered by the Iraqi government troops, as they fight deeper into the metropolis.