ISIS could come back in Syria within six months: Pentagon

Hugh Fox
February 6, 2019

We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq.

The jihadists retain control a pocket of about 20 square miles (50 square kilometers) in the Middle Euphrates River Valley in eastern Syria, according to Votel.

"The Iraqi constitution rejects the use of Iraq as a base for hitting or attacking a neighboring country", he said.

Trump's comments appear to have further inflamed tensions in Iraq over the continued presence of us troops after the defeat of the Islamic State group.

The withdrawal will fulfill Trump's goal of bringing troops home from Syria, but military leaders have pushed back for months, arguing that ISIL remains a threat and could regroup. "It is important to understand that even though this territory has been reclaimed, the fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over and our mission has not changed", Votel said.

A top US general warned on Tuesday that the ISIS terror army would pose an enduring threat following a planned USA withdrawal from Syria, saying the militant group retained leaders, fighters, facilitators and resources that will fuel a menacing insurgency.

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"When I took over Syria it was infested with ISIS - it was all over the place - and now you have very little ISIS and you have the caliphate nearly knocked out", Trump said in the interview. And when he addressed the Senate Armed Services Committee, Votel warned that an ISIS resurgence is possible.

Likewise, SASC ranking member, Sen.

The amendment called on the Trump administration to certify conditions had been met for the groups' "enduring defeat" before any significant withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan.

Trump said he would bring U.S. troops home if a peace deal were reached to end 17 years of war in Afghanistan. "The US is a major power. but do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here". However, he said he would discuss specifics in a closed session with the panel, planned for Tuesday afternoon.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment last week that expressed the sense of the chamber that the US "faces continuing threats from terrorist groups operating in Syria and Afghanistan" and that the "precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from either country could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security".

The Syrian Democratic Front is a Kurdish-led coalition of fighting forces that the USA military is helping to battle ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria.

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Sen. Angus King, a Maine Independent who caucuses with Democrats, expressed the hope that Votel, who is retiring next month, would stress the importance of protecting the Kurds to his successor.

Trump said that the US troops in Syria were starting to come home, as they push out the "final remainder of the [IS] caliphate". "That's may biggest fear, and I believe the Turks are waiting".

"We're going to keep watching and we're going to keep seeing and if there's trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we're going to know it before they do", he said.

Iraqi politicians yesterday hit back at US President Donald Trump after he said that he plans to keep US forces in the country to spy on Iran.

"I have been given no additional tasks with regards to that", he said in an exchange with Sen.

Salih's remarks came in response to Trump's Sunday interview with CBS News's Face the Nation, in which the president said USA troops would remain in Iraq indefinitely and would be used to surveil Iran and its activity in the region.

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Trump said in a weekend interview that ISIL is "almost knocked out".

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