US-led coalition: Islamic State has lost 30 percent of its territory

Iraqi security forces and allied Sunni tribal fighters display weapons used by Islamic State militants to attack their city in Haditha, 240 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The Islamic State group had captured Ramadi in May, in one of its biggest advances since the U.S.-led coalition began striking the group in 2014. Recapturing the city, which is the provincial capital of Anbar, provided a major morale boost for Iraqi forces. (AP Photo)

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group says the militants have lost 30 percent of the territory they once held in Iraq and Syria.

Baghdad-based spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Tuesday that the extremists have lost 40 percent of their territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria, saying they are now in a “defensive crouch.”

The U.S.-led coalition has been launching airstrikes since 2014 in support of Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters.

Last month, Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led airstrikes pushed IS out of the city center of Ramadi, a provincial capital west of Baghdad that fell to the extremists last May.

IS still holds much of northern and western Iraq, including the country’s second-largest city Mosul, and large parts of Syria.

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