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Britain says up to 13,000 Islamic State fighters in Iraq
October 20, 2015 / 1:04 PM / 2 years ago

Britain says up to 13,000 Islamic State fighters in Iraq

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain believes there are between 10,000 and 13,000 Islamic State fighters active in Iraq, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond listens as Prime Minister David Cameron delivers his keynote address at the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Britain October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Hammond added that excluding Islamic State and Al Nusra fighters, he believed there were also some 80,000 opposition fighters in neigbouring Syria.

“It is estimated ... that there are 10,000 to 13,000 active ISIL fighters in Iraq,” he told lawmakers, using a different title for Islamic State.

Asked about Syria, he said: “The non ISIL, non al-Nusra part of the opposition probably amounts to around 80,000 fighting strength deployed across the country – that is the latest estimate that I have,” he told lawmakers.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; writing by Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison

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