ISIS airstrikes down 60 to 70 percent as caliphate crumbles in Iraq and Syria

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014. The offshoot of al Qaeda which has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria has declared itself an Islamic "Caliphate" and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, a statement posted on jihadist websites said on Sunday. The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, has renamed itself "Islamic State" and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi as "Caliph" - the head of the state, the statement said. REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)  FOR BEST QUALITY IMAGE ALSO SEE: GF2EAAO0VU501 - GM1EA6U08CF01

As ISIS is destroyed in Iraq, Croft said Iraqi security forces will not cross the border into Syria to pursue them. Inside of Iraq, small pockets of ISIS fighters remain, he said.  (REUTERS)

U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS are down 60 to 70 percent the past month compared to the previous eight months as the caliphate crumbles in Iraq and Syria and the number of targets decrease "dramatically,” according to the deputy commander for air operations against ISIS.

Drone flights and other reconnaissance flights will continue over Iraq and Syria, Brig. Gen. Andrew A. Croft said during a briefing with reporters at the Pentagon late Tuesday morning.

As ISIS is destroyed in Iraq, Croft said Iraqi security forces will not cross the border into Syria to pursue them. Inside of Iraq, small pockets of ISIS fighters remain, he said.

A US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt-2 receives fuel from a fuel boom suspended from a US Air Force KC-10 Extender during mid-air refueling support to Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq and Syria air space, March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed - RC1AAC4DC970

The decrease in airstrikes inside Iraq and Syria means more jets are free to fly missions in Afghanistan. A jet can fly a strike mission in Iraq and just a day later fly another in Afghanistan, Croft said.  (REUTERS)

"Our job here is not finished," he said. “It’s sort of like a newly plowed field--if you don’t tend it, the weeds grow. And I would equate ISIS, [al-Qaeda] and everyone else as just a bunch of weeds.”

The decrease in airstrikes inside Iraq and Syria means more jets are free to fly missions in Afghanistan. A jet can fly a strike mission in Iraq and just a day later fly another in Afghanistan, Croft said. 

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews