Aggressive steps taken by the Trump administration have brought “dramatically accelerated” gains against the Islamic State in the last six months, a top State Department official said.
Brett McGurk, senior envoy to the U.S.-backed coalition, told reporters Friday that actions taken by President Donald Trump — including pushing decision-making down to field commanders — has resulted in about 8,000 square miles being reclaimed in Iraq and Syria.
McGurk’s comments were reported by The Washington Post.
So far, ISIS has lost 27,000 square miles — 78 percent of its holdings in Iraq and 58 percent in Syria — since the group’s peak control in early 2015, he said.
In addition, ISIS terrorists have been driven out of 45 percent of Raqqa, since U.S.-backed forces began their offensive two months ago.
Airstrikes by U.S. and coalition forces have been most successful in aiding Syrian Democratic Forces, consisting of Kurdish and Arab fighters,