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Iraq: ISIS lost most of the land it seized

Iraq: ISIS lost most of the land it seizedThe Iraqi military says the Islamic State group has lost more than three-fourths of the territory it seized when it swept across the country in the summer of 2014.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, a military spokesman, says the extremist group currently controls less than 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 sq. miles) in Iraq, or 6.8 percent of the country's territory, down from more than 40 percent at its height.

The extremists have suffered a string of defeats over the past year in both Iraq and Syria and were driven out of the eastern half of Mosul, Iraq's largest city, in January.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces are currently battling the militants in the more densely populated western Mosul. Rasool says more than half of western Mosul has been retaken from the militants.

In the latest development, airstrikes by the U.S.-led international military coalition against the Islamic State killed 43 group members in western Mosul on Monday. Colonel Emad al-Bayati said that coalition fighter jets targeted gatherings of IS members in Tamuz district in western Mosul, killing 43 militants and destroying medical and weapons caches belonging to the group.

Maj. Gen. Najm al-Jubouri, head of the Joint Operations Command’s Mosul operations, said in statements last week that his troops became in control over 90 percent of the “western axis”, and continue to advance in central Mosul.

Several foreign senior leaders from the group have been killed in airstrikes and ground offensives in western Mosul over the past week.
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