Delta Force and Navy SEALs have crippled the group’s ability to recruit foreign fighters and put pressure on the network responsible for striking Europe and Africa.

As the self-proclaimed Islamic State [Daesh] trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key Daesh operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond.

Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 “external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators” blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding Daesh’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa.

That’s less than half the overall number of Daesh targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported Daesh second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.

The previously unpublished number provides a rare glimpse into the U.S. counterterrorism mission that is woven into overall coalition efforts to defeat Daesh, and which is credited with crippling Daesh efforts to recruit foreign fighters and carry out more plots like the deadly assault on Paris that killed 130 last fall.

As proof of the campaign’s overall success, Pentagon officials this week said the overall size of Daesh from a high estimate of 33,000 a year ago to between 19,000 to 25,000 fighters, and that the influx of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria had dropped from up to 2,000 a month last year to just 200.

Read More: The Daily Beast

Featured Image – SOFREP