BELGRADE – In the first nine months of 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has lost almost a third territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria, new data shows.

Analysis by defence analysts IHS shows that the area under the terror group’s control has shrunk by 28 per cent since its peak in January 2015 as counter insurgents and air strikes push the terrorists back.

In the first nine months of this year, ISIS lost a chunk of territory roughly the size of Sri Lanka, as the total area under their control fell from 30,115 sq miles to 25,290 sq miles.

But the rate of territory loss appears to have slowed after Russia begins scaling back the number of air strikes against ISIS targets.