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NEWS | May 6, 2015

ISIL losing ground, forced into defensive position, CJTF-OIR official says

By By John Redfield, U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., May 6, 2015 - The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is losing ground, and the strategy of the international coalition supporting Iraqi forces against ISIL has forced the terrorist group into a defensive position, according to the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve chief of staff.

Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley told Al Arabiya in a TV interview Tuesday that "ISIL represents a threat to the international community, but 60 countries have joined forces to defeat and ultimately degrade ISIL."

Weidley said that Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Security Forces have successfully stopped a number of ISIL offensives in Iraq and Syria and caused significant ISIL losses around Kobane, Syria, and in Tikrit, Iraq.

U.S. Central Command last week hosted more than 300 military representatives from 39 nations during an operational planning conference that further developed and refined coalition campaign plans designed to degrade and defeat ISIL.

The planning conference complements the coalition's military actions against ISIL, which include airstrikes in support of Iraqi forces as well as helping to train and equip Iraqi forces.

A dozen nations have undertaken more than 3,700 airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. As part of CJTF-OIR, those who have conducted strikes in Iraq include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States; and those who have conducted strikes in Syria include Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and United States.

A dozen countries are also involved in the building partner capacity effort in Iraq. Those who have announced their participation in the program that trains Iraqi forces include Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. As a result of the BPC program, about 7,400 Iraqi forces have completed the training, with approximately 2,800 currently in training.

Iraqi forces have received more than 6 million pounds of materiel from nearly 20 donor countries, with much of the materiel flown to Iraq on board more than 80 flights of coalition aircraft.