IS lost 40 pct of its territories in Iraq, Syria: Hammond

LONDON, March 24 (KUNA) — The so-called Islamic State (IS) has lost 40 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and significant territory in Syria due to the successful strategies of the international coalition, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
This remark came in Hammond’s response to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee report on the UK’s role in the war against IS following the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria in February 2016.
Hammond said that the international coalition is “squeezing” the finances of IS and “its fighters are defecting.” “The so called caliphate is collapsing,” the British Foreign Minister stressed.
“But the ultimate defeat of Daesh will require a Syria led by a government committed to protecting its people. That requires a political transition away from Asad,” he added.
“The current Cessation of Hostilities has changed the situation on the ground in Syria and we support efforts to use it to bring about a lasting political settlement. Turkey and our other partners in the region all have a crucial role to play,” he pointed out. (end) kd.nfm