According to French Defense Minister Jean- Yves Le Drian, ISIS forces have lost 30 – 40 percent of its territory in Syria and Iraq and is on retreat because of the successes of U.S. led coalition forces.
Le Drian sees that conditions that could lead to the defeat of the radical jihadi group have reached the point that the group could “fall before the end of the year.”
Speaking on France Info radio, Le Drian said, “I note that Daesh [ISIS] is retreating and that Daesh is retreating significantly. Since Daesh’s occupation of Syria and Iraq, since the attempt to attack Baghdad in June 2014, I think Daesh has lost between 30 and 40 percent of its territory.”
As a result of international forces supporting Kurdish and Iraqi forces with air power, Le Drian added, “We will need… a lot of determination, but I think the conditions are in the process of coming together for eradicating Daesh. For the first time, I have this slightly optimistic message.”
Meanwhile, two sawmill workers were abducted and executed after being accused of allegedly spying against the terror group in the village of Butig on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. A small, relatively unknown group of militants is among several Muslim groups in the region who have claimed allegiance to ISIS.
Photos show the familiar ISIS flag and black clothing and masks. The militants employed the ISIS practice of extracting recorded confessions from the victims, who wore the familiar orange jumpsuit, just prior to their execution.
The Philippine government has maintained that support for ISIS in the Philippines has been restricted to local bandits and is not that widespread in the islands.
This most recent ISIS-inspired execution in the Philippines now adds the country to known affiliates in Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Morocco – all of which were established and have experienced rapid growth within the past year.
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