60,000 or 25,000? Different reports on killed ISIS fighters for the past years
Feb 17, 2017 03:44 PM EST
Different reports on killed ISIS fighters have been provided by both U.S. and U.K. As of Feb. 13, the number goes to 60,000 as declared by US Special Operations head but later in December, only around 25,000 fighters were killed according to UK report.
The recent number was given by Gen. Raymond "Tony" Thomas, commander of US Special Operations command who said that 60,000 ISIS fighters have been killed as the result of the joint effort made by the United States and its allies. But in late December, a different report was given by UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon when he said that more than 25,000 Daesh fighters (ISIS) have now killed.
According to CNN, the different reports in the UK and US underscores the challenge of assessing enemy casualties, even among close allies that share intelligence. It could also complicate the current White House-directed effort to develop a plan to defeat ISIS.
In connection with these different numbers on killed ISIS fighters, multiple American officials said in the past that the Pentagon does not officially tally body counts. Chuck Hagel, the former US Defense Secretary said that the counting of enemies killed was not particularly useful. On December he said that his policy, has always been, doesn't release that kind of thing. "Body counts makes no sense as what America learned from Vietnam", he added.
Also in December, U.S. officials gave 50,000 dead ISIS, a little smaller than what was given recently. Thomas who has also Navy Seal under his command made cautious remarks but stand with the same number as he gave lately saying, "I'm not into morbid body counts, but that matters."
The 10,000 difference from December report and now may be attributed to the intensified campaigns in Iraq, Mosul, Raqqa, and Syria, but body counts are still considered a dubious metric for a number of reasons, Business Insider reported.