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Col. Steve Warren: We Captured ISIS Chemical Weapons Official | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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ISIS fighters in Mosul, Iraq. Reuters

Washington- Pentagon spokesman Matthew Allen said that ISIS has lost control in several areas of Iraq and Syria, stressing that the organization has been suffering from progressive defeats and hasn’t carried out effective attacks in months.

Allen told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that “compared to the height of its strength in August 2014, the current situation of ISIS shows that it can’t function and that it has lost around 30 to 35 percent of the inhabited areas that it used to control in Iraq and Syria.”

“In April 2016, ISIS lost additional territories in both Iraq and Syria. But the percentage of land it has lost so far is still limited to 30 and 35 percent in both countries,” said Allen.

The Pentagon official admitted that ISIS continues to carry out attacks despite the successes of the U.S.-led coalition.

“Although it has lost territories, the organization is still capable of launching assaults in a lot of areas which fall under its control,” he said.

U.S.-led coalition spokesman U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren announced in a press conference he held on Wednesday that ISIS is suffering defeat.

He said that ISIS continues to carry out operations in Mosul but the coalition deactivated them.

“We are currently working with the Iraqi forces to push (ISIS) out of the city of Mosul and continuing to defeat it so that we expel it from Iraq altogether,” he said.

“The enemy use of chemical weapons is something that we’ve accounted for … and this is why we conducted our operations to seize Abu Dawud, who was their chemical weapons emir,” he said.

Without giving details, he said ISIS is concentrated in several areas of Iraq.

“Ten to 12,000 that are in Iraq, a majority of them are concentrated around Mosul, in the Tal Afar area, in Nineveh province” and there are hundreds in Mosul.

He said the tactics that ISIS is using are aimed at creating terror inside of Baghdad.

U.S. Army Major General Gary Volesky had also told reporters that the “ISIS extremist group has become weaker than ever.”

“Its capabilities to carry out offensives have deteriorated,” he said. “But the war has become harder in the attempt to regain Mosul from ISIS control.”

“We are evaluating the situation with our Iraqi partners on the future operation in Mosul … because ISIS continues to have the ability to generate power, which makes the Mosul battle harder,” he added.