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ISIS could lose remaining territory within week

07 February, 2019, 08:03 | Author: Taylor George
  • Pentagon: ISIS will regain ground in Syria when US troops leave and will play troop withdrawal as a 'victory'

America will not cede leadership of the fight against the Islamic State group, secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, as he tried to allay fears that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw forces from Syria could imperil gains against the militants there and neighbouring Iraq.

While the withdrawal would fulfill a Trump goal, U.S. military leaders have pushed back for months, arguing IS remains a threat and could regroup. And they warned that even once the last of the IS-held territory was liberated, the terror group still would have as many as another 30,000 fighters and supporters dispersed throughout Syria and Iraq.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on President Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, concerns Russian Federation may attempt to get a foothold in the Middle East. "They do bad, bad things", Trump said.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his second State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. February 5, 2019. He also reaffirmed his determination to pull out the roughly 2,000 United States troops from Syria. He had said in December that the pullout would proceed quickly.

The Islamic State group has lost territory since Trump's surprise announcement in December that he was pulling US forces out, but military officials warn that the fighters could regroup within six months to a year after the Americans leave. "I don't want to say it too early", he told the gathering.

Trump has said he has no plans to withdraw the 5,200 troops in Iraq, which he says could carry out USA airstrikes inside Syria after American troops withdraw from that country.

He applauded USA forces and said, 'You can't do better than we've done militarily, but you'll have people that will be around but we'll search them out and you'll search them out and we'll find them'.

Even as Pompeo spoke on Wednesday, a senior military official acknowledged to politicians that with the pullout, "it is going to be hard to keep up the pressure".

Asked by The National if the U.S. would amend its withdrawal plans were the safe zone talks to fail, the USA official said: "I wouldn't want to predict failure given the success of our recent discussions with the Turks".

"The fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over and our mission has not changed" in Syria, Votel told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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He said that the U.S. "mission is unwavering, but we need your help to accomplish it, just as we've had over the past months and years".

'I think that every American can be proud of the progress that we have made.and they can be confident that the USA and our coalition partners will continue to lean into the fight against any resurgence of ISIS in the future, ' he said. He did not elaborate.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Al Hakim, speaking after Mr Pompeo, called on countries to help expose ISIS "sleeper cells" in Iraq and restore stability.

"Thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a possible political solution to this long and bloody conflict", Trump said.

Trump vowed to build the wall, which he insists is needed to stem illegal immigration and smuggled drugs, and said Democratic attempts at "ridiculous partisan investigations" could damage USA prosperity. Irving Locker, Joseph Reilly and Herman Zeitchik were among the forces who landed in France in 1944 on D-Day, the US -led invasion that cost tens of thousands of lives but turned the tide of war against Nazi Germany and its allies.

Trump planned to speak to the coalition later Wednesday.

The 79-member Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS was formed in 2014 and works to reduce the threat the armed group poses to worldwide security and United States homelands.

Pompeo said the coalition also focused on captured ISIS fighters. We have spent more than $7 trillion in the Middle East.

Republican Senator Thom Tillis invited the pastor to watch Trump's address.

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