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10 More Horrific Numbers That Explain Why ISIS Is Impossible To Ignore

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In a press conference on Wednesday in response to the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, U.S. President Barack Obama described the group as a "cancer" that must be stopped before it spreads.

"One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIS has no place in the 21st century," the president said.

Yet while targeted intervention by the United States and its allies in recent weeks has allowed Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake strongholds like the Mosul Dam, the militants' reign of terror is far from over.

The WorldPost recently broke down the Islamic State's rise to power with 15 shocking numbers, like the stat that an estimated 30,000-50,000 militants are fighting for the group. As it continues its brutal campaign unabated, here are 10 new numbers that have come to light that provide a glimpse into the atrocities the group has committed.


The number of local and international journalists who are estimated to be missing in Syria, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Several are likely being held by the Islamic State, the organization says. On Tuesday, the Islamic State released a video showing a militant killing American journalist James Foley, who was abducted in Syria in late 2012. In the video, the militant said that the group is also holding American journalist Steven Sotloff, and threatened to kill him if U.S. airstrikes continue.

Up to 500

The number of British-born fighters experts estimate are allied with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Experts have said that the man who beheads James Foley in the video is likely from London.


The total number of foreigners who have joined the ranks of the Islamic State, according to the Soufan group, a New York-based consultancy. Three-thousand of those fighters come from the West, the group says. Officials have said they are worried that many of the fighters will eventually return to their countries of origin.

isis refugees

Some of the many thousands of Yezidis who fled from Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq and Zakho city to escape the assaults of army groups led by the Islamic State. (Huseyin Bagis/Getty)


The number of killings Islamic State militants reportedly carried out in a span of just 14 days earlier this month. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, those killed were members of a tribe the Islamic State had been fighting in eastern Syria. The organization says it believes that a majority were civilians and that many were beheaded.

1.2 Million

The total number of people who have been displaced by the violence in Iraq this year alone, according to U.N. estimates.


The estimated number of Iraqis displaced by the violence in the country’s north. According to the United Nations’ refugee agency, many of them are currently living along roads and in unfinished buildings and parks.

At least 11,000

The number of Yazidis, members of a religious minority group, who have fled from Iraq to Syria since Islamic State militants threatened to execute them if they didn't convert to Islam.

"The fact that you see people fleeing via Syria to safety speaks very much to how desperate the situation is," said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

islamic state leaders

Alleged Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching during Friday prayer at a Mosul mosque.


The number of tons of emergency relief supplies the United Nations sent to the Kurdish region in Iraq on Wednesday to address the enormous humanitarian crisis in the country’s north. The cargo included 3,300 tents, 20,000 plastic sheets, 18,500 kitchen sets and 16,500 jerry cans. It's part of a mission to send 2,410 tons of aid to area by the beginning of September. According to the U.N., the operation is "the largest single aid push" in more than 10 years.


The number of strikes the U.S. has carried out against Islamic State militants in past weeks. The latest strikes hit the area of the Mosul Dam, which was conquered by militants last week but is now back under control of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

Fewer than 300

The number of extra troops the U.S. is considering sending to Iraq, according to a senior U.S. official. The soldiers would focus on providing additional security around Baghdad, officials told the Associated Press.

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