Pentagon Claims Only 200 ISIS Remain in Libya, and They’re Trapped

'They Don't Have Any Place Else to Retreat to at This Point'

Pentagon estimates of ISIS numbers often wildly vary, but today’s are particularly surprising, as just about a month into the US war in Libya, spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis is now claiming that there are only about 200 ISIS members left in the whole country, and they’re all trapped.

“They don’t have any place else to retreat to at this point,” insisted Davis, “their backs are against the ocean, and the ocean is blocked and protected as well.” This is a dramatic shift in estimates from previous claims of around 8,000 ISIS fighters in Libya.

Previous estimates had also suggested that while ISIS was based in Sirte, they were trying to set up presences across the country. Now, it seems the assumption that the ones they were bombing in Sirte are the only ones that were ever there, and are virtually wiped out.

This is also in spite of claims by the US-backed “unity government” that ISIS was on the run in Sirte, as instead of the offensive putting thousands of ISIS fighters on the run, fanning out across the country, the Pentagon story is that they’re being wiped out quickly, and all in just one city. Despite this, there is no timetable for ending the attacks.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of