Fact-Check: Yes, the Islamic State Has Lost Almost 100 Percent of Its Territory in Iraq and Syria

Islamic
TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images

During Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Donald Trump asserted that “the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.”

Fact-Check: TRUE

The Islamic State has lost 98 percent of the territory it held at the peak of its power in 2015 in Iraq and Syria, including its twin capitals of Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, according to the U.S.-led coalition against the terrorist group, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

The Islamic State still remains a threat to the region. Estimates published in late January suggest that 3,000 ISIS jihadists and 7,000 loyalists, which includes women and children, remain in Iraq and Syria.

The collapse of the “caliphate” has also resulted in emerging ISIS threats outside of Iraq and Syria that have yet to be contained, in countries like the Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Libya. ISIS loyalists outside of areas controlled by the group, and particularly in the United States and Europe, also remain active and deadly.

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