ISIS could reclaim large territory in Syria in just months without military pressure, according to a draft report from the US Department of Defense, unnamed US officials cited by NBC claim. The Defense Department Inspector General’s report is to be released in the week between February 4th and 10th.
Without military pressure from the US, ISIS could regain a significant amount of territory within 6 to 12 months. Allegedly, the report covers the three months from October 1st to December 31st, 2018.
President Donald Trump announced on December 19th that the U.S. military would be leaving Syria.
We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
On January 29th, the Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan claimed that ISIS is close to being defeated, but there is still work to be done.
“ISIS no longer has freedom to amass forces. Syria is no longer a safe haven. We’ve eliminated a majority of their leadership. We’ve significantly diminished their financial capabilities,” Shanahan said. “The way I would probably characterize the military operations conducted in Syria is that the risk of terrorism and mass migration has been significantly mitigated.”
Inside Syria, he said, “99.5 percent plus” of territory controlled by ISIS just two years ago has been returned to the Syrians. “And within a couple of weeks, it’ll be 100 percent,” he added.
In addition, Operation Inherent Resolve Strike Summaries revealed that throughout January 2019, the US-led coalition carried out upwards of 1,200 strikes against the “defeated ISIS.”
Also on January 29th, US Intelligence chiefs gave testimony before Congress. In direct contradiction to Trump they said that ISIS was still very much a threat.
On January 31st, Trump had a “great meeting” with his Intelligence team in the Oval office and clarified the situation. The Intelligence Chief’s testimony “was mischaracterized by the media – and we are very much in agreement on Iran, ISIS, North Korea, etc. Their testimony was distorted press….”
….I would suggest you read the COMPLETE testimony from Tuesday. A false narrative is so bad for our Country. I value our intelligence community. Happily, we had a very good meeting, and we are all on the same page!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
So it appears that Trump still claims that ISIS is defeated. There also appears to be some resistance from his aides and reports in the media are trying to propagate a narrative to keep US forces in war-torn Syria indefinitely.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- US-led Coalition Conducted Over 1,200 Strikes Against “Defeated” ISIS In Just January: Report
- US Intelligence Chiefs: Iran Deal Works, ISIS Is Still Threat, North Korea Is Unlikely To Dismantle Nuclear Arsenal