The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is getting desperate, said chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White at a recent news conference.
White said thousands of ISIS fighters are surrendering to Iraqi security forces and Syrian Democratic Forces.
"They are getting desperate," she said. "Civilians are running towards the Iraqi security forces and Syrian Democratic Forces, because they know they are the good guys."
Coalition forces have supported Iraqi forces as they liberated Hawija and continue to support the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as they enter the final phase of the battle for Raqqa – the capital of ISIS' so-called caliphate. "More than 6.4 million Iraqis and Syrians have been liberated from the grip of ISIS, a territory about the size of California," White said.
The coalition will continue to strike ISIS wherever the group raises its head and coalition service members will track foreign fighters fleeing from the region who hope to foment terror in other parts of the globe.
But the credit belongs to the forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria, said spokesperson White. "Local forces in Iraq and Syria have fought valiantly to liberate cities from ISIS," she added. "It is because of their efforts and their tremendous sacrifices that I can say ISIS is on the run."
The government force in Iraq and a cohesive and deadly coalition-partner force in Syria have made the difference in the effort to turn back the terror group. In the last three years the Coalition-trained and backed Iraqi Security Forces have removed ISIS from 87 percent of territory they once held, liberating more than 6.5 million people, including Mosul this July, the largest city ISIS has held.
In Syria, the SDF, a force of Kurds and Arabs, are united in the fight against ISIS. After more than four months of operations, Raqqa is more than 90 percent cleared.
“In Raqqa and elsewhere across Syria, our focus remains on reducing risk to civilians,” said Colonel Ryan Dillon, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman, “while continuing to pursue and defeat ISIS terrorists at every opportunity as they retreat into the remaining held areas in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.”