ISIS, by the numbers

How many fighters? How many countries fighting ISIS? How many refugees?
By: /
April 20, 2015

The estimated size of the territory currently controlled by ISIS: 90,000 km3

The estimated population of that territory: 6.5 million

The CIA’s estimate of the number of fighters in ISIS: 31,500

The Kurdish estimate: 200,000

The estimated number of foreign fighters who have joined Sunni militant organizations in Iraq and Syria: At least 20,000

The portion of those who are nationals or residents of Western European countries: 1/5

The number of countries in the Global Coalition to Degrade and Defeat ISIL: Over 60

The number of member countries involved in the bombing ISIS: 12

The number of those countries that are from the Middle East: 4

The number of weapons released by coalition forces between August 2014 and March 2015: 11,550

The average daily cost of operations related to ISIS: $8.5 million

The number of internally displaced persons in Syria: 7.6 million

The number in Iraq: 3.3 million

The portion of that number displaced in just 2014: 2/3

Also in the series

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has emerged out of the power vacuum created by the Syria civil war. In a very short period of time the group has captured and held territory in both Syria and Iraq, which consequently gave rise to an international military coalition to stop the group. 


The dangerous myth of the female victim-fighter

Though their role within ISIS may differ, women’s motives for joining the group are just as diverse as men’s.

The Islamic State and the case for Responsibility to Protect

Do not let feelings toward past invasions in the Middle East deter us from protecting Syrians and Iraqis.
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Why the Islamic State actually stinks at social media

The conventional wisdom is that ISIS has managed to become so successful largely because of its social media prowess. The conventional wisdom is wrong.

Aiding ISIS victims: ‘We need access, not more funds’

Veteran humanitarian worker François Audet discusses the dilemmas ISIS has created for crisis-response operations.

How to win the battle against the ISIS propaganda machine

The online world is a crucial battleground.

On humanitarian efforts: Defeating ISIS is not the end

The widespread displacement ISIS has caused will have consequences for years to come.