While Pentagon officials sought to emphasize the sheer amount of equipment they’ve destroyed in the last year, they also conceded that a solid year of war against ISIS has left the group in control of all of its major cities, and capable of mustering major attacks across the region.
The Pentagon may be underselling it, if anything, as while they hyped the Kurdish victory in the small north Syrian town of Tel Abyad, they neglected to mention the gains ISIS has made in Iraq in the past few months, most notably capturing the major city of Ramadi.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren also sought to downplay last week’s ISIS attack on Kobani, calling it a “limited incursion” that was quickly repelled by Kurdish forces. He did not mention that some 300 civilians were estimated to have been killed.
The Pentagon even claimed ISIS had lost “a quarter of its territory,” a claim that doesn’t seem to be supported by recent estimates that they control more than half of all of Syria, and certainly made some gains in Iraq as well.
Warren claimed ISIS “isn’t as powerful as they would like you to believe,” but since they’ve been able to carry out major attacks against targets in both Iraq and Syria, as well as abroad, and still control cities encompassing millions of people, it seems they remain plenty powerful.