At least 50,000 ISIS fighters killed in the past two years: US official

At least 50,000 Islamic State militants have been killed in the past two years by the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria, said a senior US military official.

At least 50,000 ISIS fighters killed in the past two years: US official

At least 50,000 Islamic State militants have been killed in the past two years by the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria, said a senior US military official.

The figure was a "conservative estimate" and showed how US and coalition air power, alongside US troop deployments to support local forces, were proving effective, said the official.

The US-led coalition started a relentless operation against the jihadist group in late 2014 using planes and drones and has conducted some 16,000 air strikes against the jihadists in Iraq and Syria.



The estimated kill count by US official is significantly higher than the total number of fighters the CIA believed Isis possessed inside Iraq and Syria in September 2014, which was between 20,000 and 31,500. However, a senior Kurdish leader had claimed the real figure was closer to 200,000.


“I am not into morbid counts but that kind of volume matters, that kind of impact on the enemy,” the official told news agencies.

The official, speaking 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.


Analysis of leaked Isis documents by US terrorism researchers has revealed the group's recruitment footprint has widened significantly since the days of its predecessor organistion, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

In a study released on Thursday, the US military's Combating Terrorism Center said the difference between fighters' origins in 2007 and 2014 "could not be starker". Between 2006 and 2007 two countries, Saudi Arabia and Libya, accounted for 60 per cent of AQI's foreign fighter count.