The American-led Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition on Friday tweeted out a pair of phone numbers that citizens in Iraq and Syria can call to report ISIS extremists in their area. The push comes amid ramped-up military operations against ISIS over the past several weeks, even as the Pentagon and its partners insist the organization is “territorially defeated.”
OIR spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said in a Twitter post that the coalition in March “completed 78 operations against Daesh, preventing 107 terrorists from committing acts of terror,” using an alternate name for the terrorist group.
Enlisting the public’s help in rooting out Islamic State fighters underscores how complex the situation has become in both Iraq and Syria. Recent Pentagon reports estimate that there are at least 8,000 ISIS fighters still at large, though it’s likely many of them have blended into civilian populations.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces also recently launched an operation to round up ISIS recruiters and affiliates operating inside the massive al-Hol refugee camp, which Pentagon officials fear has the potential to become a major breeding ground for extremism and a fertile recruiting base for the Islamic State.