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The Islamic State has lost considerable ground across Iraq and Syria, including nearly half of the territory it once controlled in Iraq
The Islamic State has lost considerable ground across Iraq and Syria, including nearly half of the territory it once controlled in Iraq

The Islamic State has lost considerable ground across Iraq and Syria, including nearly half of the territory it once controlled in Iraq, the Pentagon has said.

“In Iraq, about 45% of the territory they once held has been recovered,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said yesterday.

“I think the number in Syria is anywhere from 16 to 20%,” he said.

Cook said the US continues to closely monitor ISIS activities and where it is making progress.

At this point the US has not been tasked to arm, or train and equip Libyan rebels or Libyan government forces in their battle against ISIS, he said.

“We’re not specifically tasked at this point, but certainly we have been supportive of the Government of National Accord and its efforts to try and take shape, and in particular, its efforts to go after ISIS,” he said.

A communique issued in Vienna spells out some of the next steps of support for the Government of National Accord. “Of course, we stand ready to play our role in that,” he said.

Cook said there are currently small teams of US forces maintaining a presence in Libya to get a “better sense of the players on the ground.”

“We have a sense of for example, the presence of ISIS in Libya, the level of strength and the level of strength as well as some of those other forces on the ground,” he said.