Fewer Than 3,000 Isis Militants Left In Iraq, Syria: Coalition

Fewer Than 3,000 Isis Militants Left In Iraq, Syria: Coalition

There are fewer than 3,000 Islamic State (ISIS) militants clinging on in the remnants of its self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the U.S.-led coalition battling the militants said.

ISIS is currently fighting for survival in the handful of sparsely populated pockets of territory it still holds, a far cry from the vast swathes of ground it captured in 2014.

"Current estimates are that there are less than 3000 Daesh fighters left - they still remain a threat, but we will continue to support our partner forces to defeat them," coalition spokesman Ryan Dillon wrote on Twitter on Tuesday (December 5), using an alternative acronym for ISIS.

Iraqi government troops backed up by air strikes from the U.S.-led coalition are pressing an offensive to wipe out the ISIS’ last foothold in the desert.

In Syria ISIS have faced separate onslaughts by forces backed by Russia and the U.S. in Deir Ezzor province and now control just a tiny sliver of the region along the Euphrates River.

The U.S. has already begun winding down its forces deployed to fight ISIS, with the coalition saying at the end of November that more than 400 Marines who helped in the recapture of Syrian city Raqqa were being withdrawn.