The ISIS caliphate in Syria has reportedly been destroyed as the Islamic terrorist organization’s last stronghold in Baghouz, Syria has reportedly been liberated as an official announcement is pending.
Fox News reported on Thursday that the village has been liberated, even though the official announcement has not yet been made. Fox News reports:
It’s the first time since we’ve been here in Syria for five days that the bombs have stopped dropping and the gunfire has disappeared. We have witnessed the end of the caliphate – the brutal empire that once ruled over 8 million people – is gone…
…The last five days, Fox News has witnessed the last major offensive up close -– with U.S.-backed SDF forces attacking ISIS from three sides, pushing the fighters back, house to house, then tent to tent, against the Euphrates River.
Fox News notes that the severe devasation in the area lasts for miles and that local fighters “are all so grateful to the U.S., not just for their help in the battle, but now for its decision to leave troops here when it’s done.”
In 2017, several months after taking office, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration was far more aggressive toward ISIS than the previous administration and the impact that it had was significant. The Post reported:
Nearly a third of territory reclaimed from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2014 has been won in the past six months, due to new policies adopted by the Trump administration, a senior State Department official said Friday.
Brett McGurk, the State Department’s senior envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition, said that steps President Trump has taken, including delegating decision-making authority down from the White House to commanders in the field, have “dramatically accelerated” gains against the militants.
Two weeks ago, National Security Adviser John Bolton told ABC News: “The president has been, I think, as clear as clear can be, when he talks about the defeat of the ISIS territorial caliphate. He has never said that the elimination of the territorial caliphate means the end of ISIS in total. We know that’s not the case.”
Bolton added that ISIS terrorists are “scattered still around Syria and Iraq, and that ISIS itself is growing in other parts of the world. The ISIS threat will remain.”
NEW: John Bolton responds to CENTCOM commander Gen. Votel saying the fight against ISIS is "far from over" after Trump said "100 percent" of ISIS was defeated: "(Trump) has never said that the elimination of the territorial caliphate means the end of ISIS" https://t.co/2HNDlHWIkE pic.twitter.com/v1sexsnqV3
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 10, 2019
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “ISIS Caliphate two years ago in red vs. ISIS Caliphate TODAY. (Was even worse in November 2016 before I took office).”
ISIS Caliphate two years ago in red vs. ISIS Caliphate TODAY. (Was even worse in November 2016 before I took office). pic.twitter.com/MUgfex4rCj
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2019
Trump told reporters on Wednesday: “I brought this out for you because, this is a map … everything in the red — this was on Election Night in 2016 — everything red is ISIS.”
“When I took it over, it was a mess. Now, on the bottom — that’s the exact same — there is no red. In fact, there’s actually a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight,” Trump continued. “So this is ISIS on Election Day, my Election Day, and this is ISIS now. So that’s the way it goes.”