Daesh to be wiped off map imminently, says Trump

by Garry Watts March 24, 2019, 1:58
Daesh to be wiped off map imminently, says Trump

It warned the group could resurge in Syria within six to 12 months and regain limited territory without sustained pressure.

During his speech, Trump held up two maps of Syria - one covered in red representing territory held by the terror group when he was elected president in November 2016 and the other that had only a speck of red. But it is clear the mission is now coming to an end with the Kurdish fighters searching tunnels to flush out the last few ISIS fanatics and begin landmine clearance programmes.

Earlier in the day, Trump had said something similar about ISIS's imminent defeat while showing the maps to reporters at the White House.

"Our force is still carrying out combing operations and searches" for hidden jihadists, SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali told AFP. Officials said Kurdish special forces from Iraq also had been brought in to help with the operations.

Mr Trump said the most recent map shows only a small area of Syria still be seized from ISIS control - and it will be taken back in the coming hours.

The SDF, backed by US air power, swept on Tuesday into a camp where hundreds of fighters had been making their last stand with thousands of civilians, many their own wives and children.

The coalition says it takes great care to avoid killing civilians and investigates reports that it has done so. "In fact, there's actually a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight", Trump continued.

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Islamic State caliphate has been conquered in Syria, according to a Fox News report.

US military officials have confirmed a residual force of 400 troops will be split between northeastern Syria and the southern part of the country.

The "caliphate" which ISIS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed in 2014 once covered territory larger than the United Kingdom, straddling Syria and Iraq.

Associated Press journalists saw SDF soldiers loading women and children into trailer trucks on the hilltop over Baghouz - a sign that evacuations were still underway Wednesday.

For the past four years, US-led forces have waged a destructive campaign against the group.

"In Syria we're leaving 200 people there and 200 people in another place in Syria closer to Israel for a period of time".

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