US-led coalition sees fewer fighters, lower pay in Islamic State

LONDON – US estimates of the number of Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria have been reduced while cuts in their pay are evidence they are on the defensive, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting the group said on Monday.

But the task of defeating Islamic State is complicated by Russian air strikes in Syria which are 90 percent targeted at opposition fighters and not at the jihadist group, US Army Colonel Steve Warren said. Warren said increases in forced conscription, the recruitment of child soldiers and the use of elite fighters in common units were all evidence that Islamic State was seeing a slowing in the influx of foreign fighters. US intelligence estimates of the number of Islamic State fighters, which for the first 17 months of coalition operations ranged from 19,000 to 31,000, had been revised to 20,000 to 25,000 – a level he said the group would struggle to maintain.

via ynetnews.com

Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4769427,00.html

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