ISIS is now weaker than ever in Iraq. Military sources confirm the Islamic State controls a fraction of what it used to three years ago.
As per Middle East Eye:
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The Islamic State group now controls less than seven percent of Iraq, down from the 40 percent it held nearly three years ago, a military spokesman said Tuesday.
Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes and other support are now battling IS inside second city Mosul, after retaking much of the other territory the jihadists had seized.
“Daesh controlled 40 percent of Iraqi land” in 2014, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told reporters, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
“As of March 31 (this year), they only held 6.8 percent of Iraqi territory,” said Rasool, the spokesman of the Joint Operations Command coordinating the anti-jihadist effort.
Various members of the forces, Iraqi and foreign, battling the jihadists have disagreed in the past on figures about control of territory, but IS has been losing ground steadily for close to two years.
The most brutal organisation in modern jihad shocked the world when it took over Mosul in June 2014 and then swept across much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.
Its reach in Iraq peaked in August the same year when a second offensive saw it take over areas of northern Iraq that were home to various minorities and had been under the control of forces from the country’s autonomous Kurdish region’s forces.
The good news comes after ISIS’ bombing of Egyptian churches on Palm Sunday.
Guardian UK reports:
Isis has claimed responsibility for two bomb blasts that struck Coptic churches in Egypt, killing at least 47 people as members of the country’s largest religious minority celebrated Palm Sunday.
An explosion in the city of Tanta, about 56 miles (90km) north of Cairo killed 29 and injured 71 as they prayed at the Mar Girgis church according to the Egyptian health ministry. A second blast struck the Egyptian port city of Alexandria three hours later, killing 18 and wounding 35.
The bombings were the latest in a series of attacks on Egypt’s Christian minority, who account for about 10% of the population and have been repeatedly targeted by Islamic extremists. The attacks come weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit Egypt.
Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced a three-month state of emergency on Sunday night in response to the bombings after meeting his national security chiefs.
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