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Flow of Foreign Fighters to Daesh Drops by 75% - Pentagon

Sputnik News

18:14 13.05.2016(updated 18:29 13.05.2016)

The inflow of foreign militants willing to join Daesh has dropped by 75 percent, a Pentagon official said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The inflow of foreign fighters traveling to join Daesh on the battlefield has dropped by 75 percent, Operations Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Steve Warren said during a press briefing on Friday.

"We access that the number of foreign fighters entering the combat zone each month has decreased possibly by as much as 75 percent," Warren stated.

The spokesperson argued that Daesh was unable to deliver on its promise to create a functioning state, which diminished the appeal of the so-called caliphate.

Warren added that the terrorists are no longer able to replenish their ranks at the rates their operatives die on the ground.

The spokesperson said the Coalition attributes the reduction of fighters to a number of factors, including allies' military gains on the ground, improved border security and counter-recruitment efforts.

In February, US National Intelligence Director James Clapper estimated that more than 36,000 foreign fighters from 120 countries have joined Daesh in Syria and Iraq since 2012. Of those, about 6,600 Islamic volunteers came from western countries.

US plans on deploying additional troops to Iraq are not affected by the recent terrorist attacks or the protests in Baghdad, Warren said.

"Our plans to flow in additional accelerants remain on track," Warren stated. "We do not believe that any of this recent, whether it would be ISIL[Daesh]-initiated bombings or political churn taking place or the demonstrations that we've seen are going to impact our ability to flow this additional forces and get them into position to assist the Iraqi security forces in their efforts to prepare for eventually liberating Mosul. So, no impact."

On Wednesday, three bomb blasts in Baghdad killed over 80 people and injured at least 140, according to various reports. Daesh took responsibility for the attacks.

On April 26, supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr entered the Baghdad's Green Zone, housing government buildings and foreign missions, and broke into the Iraqi parliament to demand reforms of the political quota system.

In April, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that the United States will deploy additional 217 troops to Iraq to assist the local forces in the fight to retake the city of Mosul from Daesh, outlawed in many countries, including Russia.


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