by WorldTribune Staff, December 9, 2016
The U.S.-led coalition has killed at least 50,000 Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) fighters, a U.S. official said on Dec. 8.
“I am not into morbid counts but that kind of volume matters, that kind of impact on the enemy,” the senior official said, according to AFP. The official called the 50,000 casualty number a conservative estimate.
Coalition planes, since August 2014, have conducted some 16,000 airstrikes against the terror organization in Iraq and Syria – two-thirds of them in Iraq, the official said.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the air campaign had been the “most pristine” ever in terms of avoiding civilian casualties, with almost all the bombs dropped so far being smart weapons that can be steered to a precise target.
The coalition tally of civilians killed in the operations is 173 – though critics say the real figure is far higher.
Meanwhile, coalition spokesman Col. John Dorrian said ISIL is turning to adolescent fighters in Mosul as its hardcore jihadists are wiped out.
“As this effort goes on with each passing day, Daesh has fewer fighters and fewer resources at their disposal,” Dorrian said.
He added ISIL also appeared to have run out of armored suicide car bombs, and estimated “many hundreds” of fighters had been killed in Mosul.
“It doesn’t mean that it’s not still an extraordinarily dangerous situation. They are not going to go quietly, but they are going to go.”