Defense Secretary James Mattis said over the weekend that the U.S. military has more work to do in Iraq and Syria, noting that “the war is not over” in either country.
Though the Iraqi government has declared that ISIS has been defeated, Mattis was echoing the opinion of his field commanders in the CENTCOM theater of operations.
They say that much work must be done in order to prevent the formation of “ISIS 2.0,” a reference to a possible ISIS attempt to return to its hit-and-run terror roots.
“We told you that the [ISIS] caliphate was going to go down,” Mattis said, and “as we sit here today at the end of 2017, the caliphate is on the run, we’re breaking them.”
Mattis said that the Trump Pentagon accelerated a strategy put in place by the Obama administration in order to defeat ISIS.
He said there were “numerous people who thought that, perhaps, the strategy was wrong when it was initiated by the last administration — thought it was too slow when I came in.” [source]
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