Only about 1,000 ISIS members remain on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq, the US-led coalition’s spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon told Military.com on December 26.
“Up until today, we had an estimate of less than 3,000,” Dillon said, according to the website. “But the latest estimate we got today was, there’s about 1,000 across Iraq and Syria.”
As the influence of ISIS decreases in Syria and Iraq, the US has less and less excuses to keep the military presence in the countries. The US administration has already started setting ground for the post-ISIS military activity in the region claiming that it will participate in the stabilization of Syria and Iraq.
In Syria, the main effort of this “stabilization” will be to turn an area controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces into an independent enclave to use it as a tool to pressure the Damascus government as well as the Iranian-Russian-Syrian coalition in general.
In Iraq, Washington seeks to limit the influence of the Popular Mobilization Units that have close ties with Iran.