A new CIA intelligence assessment estimates the Islamic State group “can muster between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria,” up from a previous figure of 10,000, CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said.
“This new total reflects an increase in members because of stronger recruitment since June following battlefield successes and the declaration of a caliphate.” (USA Today)
Meanwhile, the U.S. signed up Arab allies on Thursday to a “coordinated military campaign” against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. After talks in Jeddah, Secretary of State John Kerry won backing from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and four other Gulf states.
While Arab nations allied with the U.S. vowed on Thursday to “do their share” to fight ISIS, the underlying tone was one of reluctance.