A U.S.-led coalition aircraft waged a series of deadly strikes against Islamic State around the city of Fallujah in Iraq on Wednesday, killing at least 250 ISIS fighters.
The strikes, which took place south of the city, where civilians have also been displaced, are just the latest battlefield setback suffered by the terror group in its self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’ of Iraq and Syria.
One U.S. official cited a preliminary estimate of at least 250 suspected fighters killed and at least 40 vehicles destroyed, Reuters reports.
If the figures are confirmed, the strikes would be among the most deadly ever against the jihadist group.
However, the group’s territorial losses are not diminishing concerns about its intent and ability to strike abroad though.
The strikes came less than 24 hours after a triple suicide bombing at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.
Turkey pointed the finger at Islamic State on Wednesday for the attack that left 42 dead and wounded hundreds more.
Although no-one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said ‘the evidence points to ‘Daesh’, using another name for IS.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country – which has long been accused of complacency towards ISIS – will overcome the terror group as well as Kurdish rebels.
Speaking at an iftar, a meal to break the fast during the month of Ramadan, on Wednesday evening, Erdogan said the terror groups were aiming to impede Turkey’s ambitions, such as becoming one of the world’s 10 strongest economies and building the world’s largest airport.
Referring in turn to the Kurdish rebels, an outlawed leftist militant group and the Islamic State group, he said: ‘Neither the PKK, the DHKP-C, nor Daesh… will succeed in deterring Turkey from its goals.’
He said the attackers ‘have prepared their place in hell’ and thanked the world leaders, including President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, for calling to offer their condolences.
CIA chief John Brennan told a forum in Washington that the Istanbul attack bore the hallmarks of Islamic State ‘depravity.’
He acknowledged there was a long road ahead battling the group, particularly its ability to incite attacks.
‘We’ve made, I think, some significant progress, along with our coalition partners, in Syria and Iraq, where most of the ISIS members are resident right now,’ Brennan said.
‘But ISIS’ ability to continue to propagate its narrative, as well as to incite and carry out these attacks — I think we still have a ways to go before we’re able to say that we have made some significant progress against them.’
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.