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John Bolton: Iraqi Gains in Ramadi Don't Necessarily Mean 'the End of ISIS'

Image: John Bolton: Iraqi Gains in Ramadi Don't Necessarily Mean 'the End of ISIS'

By    |   Saturday, 26 Dec 2015 08:10 PM

While Iraqi forces are on the verge of retaking Ramadi from Islamic State terrorists, "this is hardly the end of ISIS," former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton said Saturday.

"It's a significant setback, but on the other hand, it's not like Ramadi was retaken after a pitched battle," Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Gregg Jarrett on Fox News. "Essentially, thousands of ISIS fighters have been able to get out of the encirclement that the Iraqi military put them in.

"They are causing the Iraqi and U.S. advisors and the Iraqi forces to go very, very slowly and at a relatively high cost," Bolton added. "It's a setback for ISIS — no doubt about it — but it also took the Iraqi forces a long time to get to this point.

"What we're seeing here is the battle space is fluid, but this is hardly the end of ISIS."

Iraqi army officials said Saturday that troops had pushed deeper into the heart of the last district held by the Islamic State, despite being slowed by bombs and booby traps. ISIS overtook Ramadi in May.

If the Iraqis retake the city, it would be one of the most important victories achieved since the Islamic State swept across a third of the country in 2014.

Bolton added that recapturing the Mosul would be far more significant, but he cautioned that the U.S.-backed forces ran from ISIS terrorists during the battle for Iraq's largest city in June 2014.

"They discarded their weapons," Bolton told Garrett. "They just ran for it because they were scared of what ISIS would do to them."

Turning to the terror warning Austrian authorities issued Saturday, the former ambassador said that "it certainly sounds like it's a credible threat, something that would get people's attention in the period after Christmas, before New Year's.

"We will have to let the facts come out," Bolton added. "But this is part the ISIS propaganda war, to show that it has reach across Europe, across the United States.

"Trying to root them out of the areas in Syria and Iraq that they control now is not going to be easy and could be quite costly as their capability to strike around the world appears to be continuing to grow."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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While Iraqi forces are on the verge of retaking Ramadi from Islamic State terrorists, this is hardly the end of ISIS, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton said Saturday. It's a significant setback, but on the other hand, it's not like Ramadi was retaken after a...
john, bolton, isis, ramadi, fox
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2015-10-26
Saturday, 26 Dec 2015 08:10 PM
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