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IS 'can no longer strike at Europe from Middle East'.

ISLAMIC State no longer has the ability to orchestrate major terror strikes from Iraq and Syria, a top military commander said yesterday.

Maj Gen Rupert Jones, the deputy commander of the international coalition against IS, said: "The big directive attacks, those are really difficult to orchestrate right now from Iraq and Syria. Your ability to orchestrate those sort of attacks at reach is very significantly suppressed.

"[IS] are on the path to defeat.

That's really clear. Our partners have momentum. We are there to liberate towns and cities, and from a Western point of view to make sure that organisation cannot direct and export terror into the West.


"If you are fighter in Raqqa right now, do you think you are plotting to attack Birmingham or Brussels? "I would wager not. What you are doing is fighting for your life."

Maj Gen Jones also said the number of foreign fighters joining IS has "slowed to a trickle" and those who had joined in Iraq and Syria now face the choice of "surrender or die".

And he added that leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had gone to ground and the bulk of his key staff were dead.

Maj Gen Jones also dismissed claims Donald Trump's plans for a troop surge in Afghanistan would affect operations in the Middle East.

He said: "Have we got the resources we need? Yes we have." | Sagheer Hussain, 39, of Bradford, West Yorks, has been jailed for five years for sharing videos supporting Islamic State online.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Aug 23, 2017
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