17 things you need to know as Global Coalition members join forces to eliminate Islamic State
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The UK is just one country that makes up the Global Coalition of 68 members joined together in a commitment to eradicate Islamic State. Here are some of the facts and figures, provided by the Ministry of Defence, on the military campaign, air strikes and the training currently taking place. 1. Islamic State now holds less than 10% of Iraqi territory, and has lost 62% of the territory it once occupied in Iraq and 30% in Syria. 2. In Iraq, UK and coalition support for local forces has liberated Ramadi (February 2016), Rutbah (May 2016), Haditha, Sharqat, Hit (April 2016) and Fallujah (June 2016), Qayyarah (August 2016) and eastern Mosul (January 2017). Operations to liberate western Mosul are currently under way. 3. In Syria, the civil war and the presence of the extremist group has created a highly complex situation – further complicated by Russia’s intervention, the MoD said. Despite this, in northern Syria, UK and coalition-supported local forces liberated the strategic town of Manbij in August 2106. The Tishreen Dam (December 2015) and the town of Al Shadadi, Ar Ra, Jarabulus (February 2016) and Al Hasakah in Syria, were also liberated with coalition support. 4. The MoD said the flow of foreign fighters has fallen by up to 90% and desertions are increasing. The UK has supported successful efforts to improve international coordination, through the UN and other bodies. At least 50 countries and the UN now pass fighter profiles to Interpol – a 400% increase over two years. 5. In 2016, more than two million people were liberated from IS, with almost 23,000 square kilometres, an area larger than Wales, freed from the group's tyranny. Around 24,000 Daesh (another term for Islamic State) fighters were killed in 2016. 6. The Royal Air Force (RAF) has conducted 1,253 strikes (1,168 in Iraq; 85 in Syria) and provided highly advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assistance in support of the Coalition effort. 7. In September 2016, the RAF carried out their 1,000th air strike against Daesh targets – their strike contribution is second only to the US.
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