ISIS loses much of its territory to Kurds in Iraq and Syria


ISIS fighters, pictured on a militant website verified by AP.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--A recent study by the think-tank IHS Jane's reports that the Islamic State (ISIS) has lost approximately 14% of the territory in Iraq and Syria in recent months.

The report says that the group has lost 12,800 square kilometers of territory to the Kurds of Iraq and Syria and some to the Iraqi forces in areas like Tikrit and Baiji.

Syrian Kurds have tripled the size of their fledgling autonomous territory since, with the help of U.S. air power, they broke the lengthy ISIS siege on Kobani and reversed that groups gains.

They also cut off large parts of the Syrian border from ISIS by pushing it out of the Northern border town of Gire spi (Tal Abyad) last summer.

"We had already seen a negative financial impact on Islamic State (ISIS) due to the loss of control of the Tal Abyad border crossing prior to the recent intensification of air strikes against the group's oil production capability," explained Columb Strack, a senior Middle East analyst with Jane's.

The Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region have also driven out ISIS from most Kurdish territories it captured last year, most notably the Yezidi town of Shingal and parts of Kirkuk and northern Diyala.

The extremist group has made up for its losses in Kurdish areas by capturing new territory elsewhere in Iraq such as the Sunni city of Ramadi in May.

Source: rudaw.net/english/middleeast/22122015