Officials say 7,000 IS remain

BAGHDAD (AP) — High-ranking Iraqi security officials say up to 7,000 Islamic State group affiliates remain in Iraq after the fall of Mosul, where the group’s leader declared the self-styled caliphate three years ago.

Three intelligence and defense officials also told The Associated Press there are an estimated 4,000 militants and 3,000 supporters who were employed by the group and received salaries.

In Syria, there are up to another 7,000 IS militants and 5,000 supporters, they say.

The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

On July 10, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the liberation of Mosul, after nine months of highly destructive warfare. IS swept into Mosul in summer 2014 when it conquered much of northern and western Iraq.