Tags: Al-Qaida | Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism

Report: ISIS Forces Almost Completely Cleared in Iraq, Syria

Report: ISIS Forces Almost Completely Cleared in Iraq, Syria
As the fighting is coming to an end, West Mosul is slowly coming back to life. (Noe Falk/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 05:21 PM

U.S.-backed forces have cleared ISIS from more than 97 percent of the land it once controlled across Iraq and Syria, Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday.

But Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the American-led Inherent Resolve coalition, told reporters jihadi terrorists still pose a security threat in both nations.

"There is still work to do," Dillon said, Stars and Stripes reported. "When they are defeated, we have to make sure they cannot come back."

He also declined to say when ISIS would be expelled from the final portions of territory it holds in Syria, vowing America would back its partner forces in Iraq and Syria until ISIS is removed and its remnants "hunted down," Stars and Stripes reported.

Less than 3,000 ISIS fighters remain in Syria and Iraq, with the vast majority confined to small chunks of land south of Raqqa in eastern Syria, the military news outlet reported. In Iraq, small groups launch occasional attacks on U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Force.

"There has been some fierce fighting," Dillon said. "This specific area is not just a pocket of two or three or five to seven [ISIS fighters], it is much more formidable."

The Pentagon has yet to pull out the vast majority of its estimated 2,000 forces inside Syria, Stars and Stripes reported.

"What we were doing a month ago, two months ago is still what we are doing in Syria," Dillon said of U.S. troops. "Those coalition members and advisers are doing all those things they were doing in Raqqa . . . there has not been a downtick in what those advisers are doing."

Dillon declined to estimate when ISIS would be expelled from the final portions of territory it holds in Syria — vowing, however, the United States would back its partner forces in Iraq and Syria until ISIS is removed and its remnants are "hunted down," the outlet reported.

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Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday that U.S.-backed forces have cleared ISIS from more than 97 percent of the land it once controlled across Iraq and Syria.
military, terrorists, jihadists, wiping out terrorism
314
2017-21-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 05:21 PM
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