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Watchdog: Islamic State fighter numbers increase in Syria

A top Pentagon watchdog says between 4,000-6,000 Islamic State fighters remain in northeast Syria, far higher than the number cited by the Defense Department.
A member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, removes an Islamic State group flag in the town of Tabqa, about 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of Raqa city, on April 30, 2017, as they advance in their battle for the group's de facto capital. - US-backed fighters have captured 80 percent of Syria's Tabqa from the Islamic State group, a monitor said on May 1, a week after they first entered the town. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN / AFP)        (Photo c

The Pentagon has more Islamic State fighters left to defeat in Syria than it has previously acknowledged, according to a US government watchdog.

As US-backed forces begin targeting IS remnants near the Iraqi border, as many as 4,000 to 6,000 IS fighters remain in their former stronghold in northeastern Syria, a joint inspector general report to Congress on Monday revealed.

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