Iraq: Islamic State lost most of the territory it held in since 2014

The Islamic State has reportedly lost most of the territory it has held in Iraq since 2014. At the height of its power, the extreme Muslim group controlled about 40 percent of Iraq, an area that has been whittled down to about 6.8 percent of the country’s territory after extensive military operations, which are still going on in the city of Mosul.

”The area which Daesh (Islamic state) has still been controlling on March 31, 2017 is 29,903 kilometers, so it is 6.8 percent of Iraq’s total area. Previously Islamic State controlled about 40 percent of Iraq’s area. Now it controls only 6.8 percent of Iraq’s area,’’ said Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, Iraqi Defense Minsitry Spokesman.

Islamic State militants still control the towns of Qaim, Tal Afar and Hawija in Iraq, as well as Raqqa, their de-facto capital in Syria. The eastern half of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, is now completely under the control of Iraqi security forces. But the push against Islamic State in Western Mosul is bogged down with Iraqi security forces facing strong resistance.