The U.S.-led airstrikes have killed “more than 6,000” Islamic State fighters, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq reportedly said.
His comments came after Iraq accused the U.S. of not doing enough to help their fight against the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, or ISIL).
“We estimate that the airstrikes have now killed more than 6,000 ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq,” U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones to Al Arabiya News Channel.
Citing an unnamed U.S. military official, CNN reported that U.S. Central Command calculated the estimate.
Centcom has reportedly kept a count of ISIS fighters killed by coalition strikes that has not been made public.
The U.S. ambassador also said that the airstrikes have taken out “more than half” of ISIS’ leadership.
While downplaying the importance of the figures, Stuart said that “they do show the degradation of ISIS.”
“They show ISIS inability to supply forces inside Iraq,” he added.
The Pentagon has refused to confirm the 6,000 deaths, saying instead that “thousands” have been killed.
There are between 9,000 and 18,000 ISIS fighters, according to U.S. intelligence estimates. When foreign fighters are taken into account, ISIS is believed to have a total force of upwards of 31,000 jihadists.
ISIS jihadists are leaving a wave of carnage in their path.
“Islamic State terrorists sow death long after they depart, and as Iraqi Kurdish forces regain ground, they – and the civilians returning to their homes – face the threat of unexploded bombs and booby traps,” reported the Assyrian International News Agency.
“In 24 days, we found 410 devices amounting to more than five tons, mostly IEDs (improvised explosive devices),” said Darwish Mussa, a bomb expert. IEDs are homemade bombs.
Although Kurds have been fighting ISIS on the ground, they were not invited to an anti-ISIS conference in London on Thursday, Rudaw reported.
“I express my and Kurdistan people’s disappointment with the organizers of this conference and it is unfortunate that the people of Kurdistan do the sacrifice and the credit goes to others,” said Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani in a statement.
Leaders from 21 U.S.-led coalition nations met in London to discuss their fight against ISIS.
“The people of Kurdistan bear the brunt of this situation and no country or party can represent or truly convey their voice in international gatherings,” added Barzani.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi attended the conference.