Pentagon Claims Sudden, Massive Drop in Foreign Fighters Joining ISIS

Claims Only 200 Entered Syria, Iraq in Past Month

Though they offered no evidence to back up their claims, the Pentagon today claimed a precipitous drop in ISIS recruitment, saying the number of foreign fighters entering Iraq and Syria were down 90% in a single month, from 2,000 fighters to just 200.

Pentagon deputy commander Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten said the reduction was a “direct result” of US airstrikes, and that it proved ISIS is on the decline. Claims of ISIS being on the decline, however, are not new for the Pentagon, which has been claimed that for months.

And indeed, those airstrikes have been going on at roughly the same level for over a year now, so it makes little sense that, after a year of having no measurable impact on recruitment, there was a sudden drop-off of such a ridiculously large amount.

With the US continuing to claim to kill several thousand ISIS members monthly in their airstrikes, the sudden claim that ISIS isn’t attracting a serious number of new recruits is going to fairly quickly be put to the test, gauging whether or not ISIS continues to be able to replace people across their caliphate with little effort.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of