June 4, 2015 1:58 AM EDT

A top U.S. diplomat strayed from a long-held wartime taboo Wednesday when he reported that 10,000 ISIS militants had been killed in Iraq and Syria, raising questions about how that number was compiled and whether it accurately reflected a U.S.-led coalition’s success against the Islamic terror group.

“We have seen a lot of losses within Daesh since the start of this campaign, more than 10,000,” Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on France Inter radio, using an alternate name for ISIS. “It will end up having an impact.”

Blinken made the remarks as a stand-in for Secretary of State John Kerry at a Paris meeting of coalition members …

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