New setback for ISIS as it is revealed they have lost a QUARTER of the territory they seized since 2015
- Islamic State has lost more than a quarter of its territory in Iraq and Syria
- Land controlled by group has shrunk by 27.9% since its height in 2015
- It decreased from 90,800sq km to 65,500 sq km as of October 3 this year
- News comes ahead of a large-scale assault on ISIS stronghold Mosul
Islamic State has lost more than a quarter of the territory it seized in Iraq and Syria over the past 19-months, a new report has revealed.
The land controlled by the terror group has shrunk from 90,800sq km (56,400sq miles) in January 2015 to 65,500 sq km as of October 3 this year.
This equates to a loss of 27.9 per cent and means ISIS now only controls an area the size of Sri Lanka, according to the data released by security analysts IHS.
The news of the decrease comes ahead of a large-scale assault on Mosul, the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq.
Islamic State has lost more than a quarter of the territory it seized in Iraq and Syria over the past 19-months, a new report from IHS has revealed
Territorial losses for ISIS have slowed since July, with the group losing just 2,800 sq km in the past three months.
But the London-based security analyst firm said the losses were 'strategically significant' because they were mostly concentrated in northern Aleppo.
'The Islamic State's territorial losses since July are relatively modest in scale, but unprecedented in their strategic significance,' Columb Strack, senior analyst and head of the IHS Conflict Monitor, said.
'The loss of direct road access to cross-border smuggling routes into Turkey severely restricts the group's ability to recruit new fighters from abroad, while the Iraqi government is poised to launch its offensive on Mosul.'
The land controlled by the terror group has shrunk from 90,800sq km (56,400sq miles) in January 2015 to 65,500 sq km as of October 3 this year, pictured in Raqqa
The body of an Islamic State militant lays on the ground after a repelled attack from the militants by the Iraqi army, outside the town of Qayyarah
The operation to retake Mosul is expected to take place at some point in the next 10 days.
But fears have been raised that the assault on the city, which has a population of around one million people, will spark a humanitarian disaster.
Vali Nasr, a Hopkins University academic and former adviser to the Obama administration, warned the battle will create waves of refugees and instability.
And Bruno Geddo, from the United Nations refugee agency in Iraq, told the Sunday Times, the attack could trigger 'one of the largest man-made disasters' in years.
Concerns have also been raised about the fate of 2,000 Yazidi girls captured as sex slaves who are being kept in the city.
Britain is sending hundreds of troops to Iraq carrying gas masks and nuclear warfare clothing to protect themselves against a 'likely' chemical attack by Islamic State.
Britain is sending hundreds of troops to Iraq carrying gas masks and nuclear warfare clothing to protect themselves against a 'likely' chemical attack by Islamic State
The 250 soldiers from 4 Rifles battalion are being deployed today in preparation for a large-scale assault on Mosul (pictured), the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq
The 250 soldiers from 4 Rifles battalion are being deployed today in preparation for the ground and air assault on Mosul.
All the soldiers have been given nuclear, chemical and biological clothing after it emerged that ISIS militants targeted US troops with mustard gas last month.
A dozen Iraqi Army brigades, each of which includes from 800 to 1,600 troops, have been gathering at Qaiyara Airfield West, south of Mosul, ahead of the attack.
The eventual assault into Mosul will be carried out by Iraq's counter-terrorism service.
US bombers and drones have gone on a killing spree of Islamic State leaders in preparation for the battle.
A US military official claimed that 13 Isis leaders in the city had been killed in the past 30 days.
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