The anti-ISIS coalition said on Monday that there has been a “reduction in attacks” by the militants in Iraq and Syria this year.
“Since the beginning of this year in Iraq… through the first week of April, we have seen a record of a 68-percent reduction in attacks when compared to the same period last year,” said US Major General Matthew McFarlane, commander of the anti-jihadist coalition.
“In Syria… we recorded a 55-percent decrease during the same time,” McFarlane told an online news conference.
The attacks attributed to ISIS fighters this year have been “relatively small, from one to a few individuals,” he said, adding the group “has failed to organize or coordinate anything more than that over the past year.”
The United Nations estimated in a report published in February that ISIS still has “5,000 to 7,000 members and supporters” across Iraq and neighboring Syria, “roughly half of whom are fighters.”
In Iraq, ISIS cells operate in rural mountain areas, “leveraging the porous Iraqi-Syrian border and retaining manoeuvrability to evade attacks” while trying to “rebuild and recover,” the UN report said.