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Trump says ISIS has been ‘100 percent’ defeated in Syria


[3/22/2019 2:32:58 PM]

AMMONNEWS - US President Donald Trump said Friday that ISIS has been "100 percent" defeated in Syria.

Trump made the comment as he showed reporters maps of the region -- one showing the large areas once held by the group and a second that showed the situation on Friday with no presence.

"Here's ISIS on election day," he said, pointing to a swath of red area signifying the group's previous territorial gains, and then to one without any red, "Here's ISIS right now."

"The territorial caliphate has been eliminated in Syria," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan briefed President Donald Trump as he was travelling to Florida on Air Force One, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has yet to announce a final territorial defeat of ISIS in its last enclave in Baghouz and said on Friday that though it has captured most of the area, there are still pockets of jihadist fighters.

A Reuters journalist at Baghouz heard air strikes there on Friday afternoon and saw smoke rising.

The SDF has been battling for weeks to defeat ISIS in Baghouz in southeastern Syria at the Iraqi border, all that remained of the territory the militants ruled, which once spanned a third of Syria and Iraq.

Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, told Reuters SDF fighters had captured most of the Baghouz area and clashed overnight with ISIS militants in more than two positions where they were refusing to surrender.

The complete fall of the last ISIS stronghold in Baghouz, Syria, would be the end of ISIS’s self-declared caliphate, which at its height stretched across large parts of Syria and Iraq. Controlling territory gave it room to launch attacks around the world.

President Donald Trump said Friday "it's about time" that the group no longer controls territory in the region, after a campaign by US and coalition forces that spanned five years and two US presidencies, unleashed more than 100,000 bombs, and killed untold numbers of civilians.

*Agencies

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