U.S. President Donald Trump said on February 6 that he expects to see an announcement sometime next week that “100 percent” of ISIS’ territory has been captured.
“It should be formally announced sometime next week that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate … I want to wait for the official word. I don’t want to say it too early,” Trump told ministers with the US-led Coalition during a meeting at the State Department.
The President went on to claim that “ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria” before he assumed office. Trump once again stressed that he will withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria as soon as possible.
“Now, as we work with our allies to destroy the remnants of ISIS, it is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home,” Trump said.
While the mainstream media and several politicians have been criticizing the withdrawal decision for weeks now and trying to hinder it. Many senior officials in Trump’s administration are now defending the surprise decision, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
During a recent interview to Fox News, Pompeo said that ISIS will not be able to regain control over Syria’s oil resources after the upcoming withdrawal of U.S. troops. The secretary added that he is “very confident” that Russia’s attempts to take advantage from the withdrawal to expand its influence in the Middle East will also fail.
According to the available information, the withdrawal of US forces may take up to four months. However, local observers believe that Trump could speed up the process once the last battle against ISIS in the middle Euphrates River Valley is over.