US military official: 50 ISIS foreign fighters captured since November

Approximately 50 foreign ISIS fighters have been captured in Syria and Iraq since the start of November, a US militar...

Posted: Dec 13, 2017 10:55 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2017 10:56 AM

Approximately 50 foreign ISIS fighters have been captured in Syria and Iraq since the start of November, a US military official told CNN on Tuesday.

The official added that some of the fighters were captured as they were attempting to hide in civilian vehicles and were discovered by either the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces or Iraqi Security Forces.

Some of the fighters were captured as they were attempting to hide in civilian vehicles

From Friday to Sunday the US-led coalition also carried out 13 strikes against ISIS in Syria

The ISIS operatives came from several countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, the official said.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, said in October that "as many as 40,000 foreign fighters from 120 different countries" had joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria, when he spoke to reporters following a chiefs of defense conference at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Officials have said that a central tenet of the Trump administration's strategy for fighting ISIS is preventing these foreign fighters from returning to their countries of origin to carry out attacks.

A US defense official told CNN last week that as part of an effort to facilitate an ISIS resurgence, the terror organization is establishing small sub-organizations in ungoverned areas like Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen in the hopes of helping foreign fighters cross borders and link up with other ISIS branches outside Iraq and Syria.

Dunford said his counterpart from the Philippines had told him that 30 fighters had returned there from ISIS territory in Syria and Iraq.

"Foreign-fighter flows into Syria have nearly stopped," Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the fight against ISIS, said while appearing alongside Dunford in October, adding that "foreign fighters are unable to get out of Syria."

US Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, told reporters last month that four such foreign fighters had been captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces in October while trying to escape Raqqa by hiding among civilians who were being evacuated as part of a local deal aimed at preventing casualties.

While some reports alleged that several foreign fighters managed to escape Raqqa despite the screening, the coalition maintains that it has seen no indication of that.

The US-led coalition estimates that fewer than 3,000 ISIS fighters remain in Syria and Iraq, largely confined to more remote areas after having been driven out of major urban areas.

And while Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Saturday that Iraqi forces had restored control over the entire border with Syria and defeated ISIS, mop-up operations continue.

That same day, two UK Royal Air Force Tornado jets carried out a coalition airstrike against a group of ISIS fighters in a remote area some 40 miles northwest of Tikrit, according to the UK Ministry of Defense.

From Friday to Sunday the US-led coalition also carried out 13 strikes against ISIS in Syria.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1474289

Reported Deaths: 20385
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2021122504
Lake996361476
Allen909861007
Hamilton71271540
St. Joseph63433750
Elkhart48401623
Vanderburgh46765523
Tippecanoe42550330
Johnson37591519
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Porter34097464
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Floyd15521252
Grant14992296
Morgan14070230
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Union164419
Ohio120616
Unassigned0742

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 2418722

Reported Deaths: 31245
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2613932065
Cuyahoga2576953018
Hamilton1679311714
Montgomery1114691604
Summit1070311391
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Butler79406942
Stark750951400
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Portage31473360
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Richland28493423
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Ross16314252
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Huron13460182
Union1340984
Belmont13369247
Jefferson12969258
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Knox11595198
Seneca11540200
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Darke10786198
Washington10644168
Auglaize10247142
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Shelby9839157
Brown9507140
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Gallia598191
Adams5844124
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Henry570793
Hocking5568104
Carroll4853100
Wyandot485290
Holmes4760161
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Monroe300268
Noble281551
Harrison281361
Morgan278148
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