U.S. estimates 2,000 militants killed, wounded in Mosul
QAYARA AIR BASE | Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition forces have killed or gravely wounded more than 2,000 Islamic State fighters in the battle for Mosul since October, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Sunday.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend told reporters there are still an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 Islamic State fighters defending Mosul. He applauded the efforts of Iraqi security forces, who began their offensive on Oct. 17 in what has been billed a decisive phase of the anti-Islamic State fight.
“By our calculations, we think we have killed or badly wounded over 2,000,” Gen. Townsend said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at Qayara air base.
Gen. Townsend disputed any suggestion that the Islamic State has managed to fight the Iraqi government forces to standstill in Mosul.
He said U.S. intelligence estimated before the Mosul campaign kicked off in October that the Islamic State had 3,500 to 6,000 fighters in the city.