The last nail in the coffins of the Islamic State terror group has been hammered after the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took control of Baghuz, the last Islamic State stronghold in Syria on Saturday, March 23
The United States and its partners in the international anti-terrorist coalition have liberated the entire territory of Syria and Iraq from the Islamic State terrorist group, US President Donald Trump said in a statement released by the White House on Saturday.
“I am pleased to announce that, together with our partners in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, including the Iraqi Security Forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces, the United States has liberated all ISIS-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq 100% of the ‘caliphate,’” Trump said.
According to the US leader, just two years ago, terrorists “controlled a vast amount of territory in both Iraq and Syria.”
“Since then, we have retaken more than 20,000 square miles of land and liberated millions of Syrians and Iraqis from ISIS’s ‘caliphate,’” the president added.
Trump also made an address to young people supporting the Islamic State. “You will be dead if you join. Think instead about having a great life,” he warned.
The US president went on to say that his country would “remain vigilant against ISIS” and will keep fighting the Islamic State terrorists until they are finally defeated wherever they operate.
“We will continue to work with our partners and allies to totally crush Radical Islamic Terrorists,” he said. Commenting on the statement, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (NSA) John Bolton said in a Twitter post: “The U.S. will continue to closely monitor the remnants of ISIS and continue to work alongside our Coalition partners to prevent any resurgence.”
Earlier, the international anti-terrorist coalition announced it had crushed the remnants of the ISIS “caliphate” in the village of Baghuz on the border with Iraq.
The US-led international coalition said in a statement on Saturday that since the launch of the Inherent Resolve operation in 2014, the coalition and partner forces (74 nations and five international organizations) have liberated nearly 110,000 square kilometers (42,471 square miles) from the Islamic State. “As a result, 7.7 million people no longer live under Daesh oppression,” the document reads.
“Make no mistake, Daesh is preserving their force,” said US Army Lt. Gen. Paul LaCamera, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve commanding general. “They have made calculated decisions to preserve what is left of their dwindling personnel and capabilities by taking their chances in camps for internally displaced persons and going to ground in remote areas. They are waiting for the right time to reemerge.”
“Many civilians evacuated from Baghuz Faqwani are family members of Daesh terrorists and they willingly subscribed to Daesh’s radical ideology. These family members will not easily abandon their ideology. Their reintegration into society will require a collective effort from the coalition and international community to help eliminate conditions that would allow Daesh to reemerge,” said LaCamera.
The US general added that the coalition will keep supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in rebuilding the region and defeating the Islamic State and its ideology.