Official: Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have already been killed in ISIS's drive towards Baghdad

The announcement on television by Lieutenant General Qassem Atta is the most specific information provided so far by the government on Iraqi security forces’ casualties since the insurgents launched their offensive on June 9.

The government has issued a steady stream of statements, which cannot be independently verified, announcing the deaths of hundreds of militants, but has yet to provide a concrete figure for its own casualties.