Defense Secretary James Mattis says the United States has now shifted its military strategy against ISIS from "attrition tactics" to "annihilation."
In an interview aired Sunday on CBS News' "Face The Nation," Mattis said "our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against ISIS."
"It is a threat to all civilized nations and the bottom line is, we are going to move in an accelerated and reinforced manner, throw them on their back foot," he said.
"We have already shifted from attrition tactics where we shove them from one position to another in Iraq and Syria, to annihilation tactics where we surround them."
"Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa – we are not going to allow them to do so," he added. "We are going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate."
He explained "attrition is where you keep pushing them out of the areas that they are in."
"What we intend to do by surrounding them is to not allow them to fall back, thus reinforcing themselves as they get smaller and smaller, making the fight tougher and tougher. … that surrounding operation is going on and once surrounded then we will go in and clean them out."
He said once ISIS is defeated, "there is a larger effort underway to make certain that we don't just sprout a new enemy."
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