The spokesman for the international coalition to fight ISIS, Steve Warren, confirmed that the military campaign launched by the coalition 18 months ago resulted in the terrorist organisation losing 40% of territory it controlled.
However, the spokesman stressed that completely defeating ISIS requires international cooperation to stop the flow of foreign fighters and directly targeting its financial capabilities.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Warren said: “The priority of the coalition at the moment is the fragmentation of the organisation’s structure by cutting communication between the areas that it controls, targeting its main leaders and hitting bases stationed in populated areas so that it loses the ability to work as a system.”
Warren stressed that the coalition’s focus is defeating the terrorist organisation in Iraq and Syria, and confronting it with the help of local ground forces “which we will provide with support through military training and advice, as well as air cover.”
The spokesman added that the coalition has carried out 250 air strikes targeting the organisation’s centers of command and control since March.
It has also targeted both its fighting and financial capabilities and is focussing on ISIS’ main leaders in order to create a vacuum that its young leaders are not able to fill, which would result in them being unable to restore the organisation’s capabilities.