(MEMO) – US President Donald Trump said on Friday that US-backed forces had dislodged the Daesh militant group from its last holdout in Syria, Reuters reports.
“Here’s ISIS on Election Day. And here’s ISIS right now,” Trump said, using the acronym for the group, as he displayed a before-and-after map to reporters, with the “before” portion full of red dots and the after-map empty.
“You guys can have the map. Congratulations,” Trump said. “I think it’s about time.” The president has previously displayed a map illustrating the diminution of Daesh.
Trump has said Daesh no longer holds territory several times over the past few weeks. But US officials told Reuters that fighting still continued late into Thursday between US-backed forces and Daesh militants in the last remaining territory it holds.
Earlier on Friday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters Daesh no longer held any territory in Syria and that US acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had briefed the president on the milestone as he was traveling to Florida on Air Force One.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battled Daesh militants holed up in the Baghouz area overnight, supported by US-led coalition air strikes, the SDF said, seeking to defeat the last pockets of jihadist resistance.
The SDF has been battling for weeks to defeat Daesh in the Baghouz enclave 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.
While the US-backed SDF has captured most of the area, Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, told Reuters SDF fighters were clashing late on Thursday with Daesh militants in more than two positions where they were refusing to surrender.
This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us