Blinken: Coalition killed more than 10,000 ISIS militants

US deputy secretary of state claims coalition air strikes kill more than tens of thousands of ISIS militants so far in Iraq and Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United States Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the joint international coalition forces have killed more than 10,000 ISIS militants during the nine months of aerial operations in both Iraq and Syria.

Speaking after the coalition meeting in Paris, Blinken said the US-led international coalition had made a greater progress in combatting against the ISIS militant group through the “effective” air strikes.

"We have seen a lot of losses within Daesh (ISIS) since the start of this campaign, more than 10,000," Blinken said on France Inter radio. "It will end up having an impact," he added.

"At the start of this campaign [we] said it would take time," he said.

"We have conceived a three-year plan and we're nine months into it," Blinken added.

Blinken also claimed that a large cache of arms and ammunition belonging to the militant group had been destroyed.

In the Paris conference conveyed on Tuesday Arab and Western states which took part of the nine months of international coalition backed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi who has been accusing the coalition forces of not doing enough to help Baghdad to drive back the ISIS militancy.

Abadi had appealed for more international military support for the Iraqi ground forces who were resisting ISIS alone despite promises given by the joint coalition.

“This is a failure on the part of the world,” Abadi told journalists at a meeting of foreign ministers from the US-led coalition to discuss their fight against ISIS.

The ISIS militants last month captured Ramadi, the main centre of Anbar province, which is strategically located near by the capital Baghdad and enables the militant groups to take the control of a huge area between Iraq’s northern Mosul province and northeast Syria.

Upon the failure of Iraqi forces against the ISIS offensive in Ramadi, the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had accused the Iraqi security forces of showing “no will to fight” against the militant group.

The fall of Ramadi and the Syrian ancient city of Palmyra last month forced the US to change its strategy from a coalition-led air strikes to ground forces option.

The US has been seeking to embolden Iraqi security forces with a train and equip mission against the ISIS advancement towards Baghdad.

The Pentagon has sent at least 3,000 troops to Iraq for training and advising Iraqi forces as the coalition also provides intelligence and weapons support.

Obama administration has recently announced that it would send 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Iraq to facilitate combatting with ISIS, which uses car bomb attacks to advance towards government-held areas as the militants recently appealed such methods to seize Ramadi.

US Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry told in the Paris gathering with Abadi that the first shipment of the 2,000 AT4 anti-tank missiles will arrive this week to the besieged Anbar province.

The US has also approved the deployment of Hashd al Shaabi fighters to take back Ramadi from ISIS, despite lawmakers’ warnings of an increase in sectarian violence due to the involvement of the Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

Officials said Washington was deeply divided about the involvement of Shiite militias with links to Iran that has been expanding its influence throughout the Middle East especially after the US withdrew from Iraq as of the end of 2011.  

ISIS killed up to 500 people, both Iraqi civilians and soldiers, and forced 8,000 to flee their homes after they captured Ramadi, a provincial official told reporters.

The United Nations has said as many as 114,000 residents fled Ramadi  surrounding villages at the height of the violence created by the ISIS.

TRTWorld and agencies