Trump says so-called Islamic State could be completely defeated by next week

Arturo Kim
Февраля 7, 2019

Trump's announcement in December that ISIS had been defeated and that he was pulling troops from Syria shocked allies and led to the resignations of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the top United States envoy to the 79-member, coalition, Brett McGurk.

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues", Salih said.

Speaking to coalition partners, Mike Pompeo called the troop pullout "a new stage in an old fight" and said the U.S. would continue to lead the battle. ISIS would depict a US pullout from Syria as a win in its global propaganda outlets.

NBC News first disclosed the IG's fundamental finding.

Earlier in the month, the president's own national security advisor, John Bolton, said in a speech that any withdrawal would be conditioned on the total defeat of ISIS and assurances from Turkey that it would not attack USA -allied Kurdish forces in Syria-tall orders, to put it lightly.

Trump's December order had caused a rare revolt in the GOP, whose members were particularly shaken when former defense secretary Jim Mattis chose to resign in the wake of Trump's announcement.

"As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism", he said.

He said that the U.S. "mission is unwavering, but we need your help to accomplish it, just as we've had over the past months and years".

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"We have to protect Israel", he told CBS News's Margaret Brennan on Sunday.

"The US troops withdrawing from Syria is not the end of America's fight", he said.

"We spent a fortune on building this incredible base", Trump said. Irving Locker, Joseph Reilly and Herman Zeitchik were among the forces who landed in France in 1944 on D-Day, the US -led invasion that cost tens of thousands of lives but turned the tide of war against Nazi Germany and its allies. "You will have people that will be around and we'll search them out and you'll search them out and we'll find them and hopefully they won't be around very long", he said. "At the same time, at a certain point, we want to bring our people back home".

The growing tensions between the White House and the Democrats had already resulted in a 35-day partial shutdown of the US government, as Democrats refused to fund Trump's signature policy priority: a wall along the USA border with Mexico.

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Salih said U.S. troops were in Iraq as part of an agreement between the two countries and with a specific mission of assisting in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group and combatting "terrorism". Director Of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley are scheduled to testify.

Conspicuously absent from the report is the Syrian government, which has fought IS successfully with the support of Hezbollah, Iran and Russia, Shoebridge told RT. He said that his administration was now supporting Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who last month declared himself interim president. And Votel replied, "We were not".

"ISIS remains an active insurgent group in both Iraq and Syria", the command wrote.

And last week, United States intelligence chiefs also broke with the president, saying IS would continue to pursue attacks from Syria, as well as Iraq, against regional and Western adversaries, including the US.

The command added that ISIS "may conduct opportunistic attacks on USA personnel as they withdraw" and posited that the group's leaders "will leverage the event as a "victory" in its media". After concerns from some Democrats, the Senate approved a change to the bill making it clear the amendment was not meant to be a declaration of war or authorization to use military force. ISIS "remained able to plant bombs and carry out assassinations throughout Syria".

Yet senior military officials acknowledged to Congress on Wednesday that the pullout would complicate their efforts.

"It is important to understand that even though this territory has been reclaimed the fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over and our mission has not changed", the general said, using another name for Daesh. The report does not address any attrition in ISIS's ranks.

One of the other signature policy platforms that Trump highlighted as a candidate in the 2016 election was criticism of how long US military forces have been fighting in wars in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and more recently, in Syria.

Officially, Iraq says there are no USA bases on its soil - only instructors deployed at Iraqi bases.

In particular, USA support to the SDF is "vital" to that group's ongoing fight against some 2,000 ISIS fighters who are still said to be resisting tenaciously in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.

Hecker said others would have to carry the burden once the US left.

"His invocation of Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the Tree of Life massacre rings hollow when he has consistently utilized antisemitic tropes, such as his campaign ads denouncing "globalists" and espousing conspiracy theories about George Soros, all while advancing a white nationalism that puts Jews and so many other Americans in danger", Ginna Green, chief strategy officer of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, said in a statement.

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