When President Trump took office in January, he vowed to complete one of his biggest campaign promises – to defeat ISIS. Slowly, but surely, Trump has been doing everything in his power to keep the radical Islamic group contained. The increased pressure Trump has put on ISIS seems to be having a strong effect, according to general Mattis.
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“He directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS,” he said in a Pentagon briefing Friday.
By taking the fight to the strongholds of ISIS, it’s creating no escape for their fighters to flee to other countries and effectively ending the spread of ISIS, he suggested.
By surrounding Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria the Secretary of Defense knows that it creates little avenue for escape, and those cities can be contained and overtaken. “We don’t simply transplant this problem from one place to another,” he told the press.
Mattis credited the president’s acceleration to defeat ISIS as one of the pivotal points of getting ISIS contained. He also added that Trump’s willingness to arm the Syrian Kurds has expedited the process of ending ISIS.
According to the Washington Examiner, the ISIS reign of terror started in 2014, and since then has grown, covering more than 20,000 miles of territory.
Mattis was joined by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford and Brett McGurk, the United States Special Envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State. They all made it clear during the briefing that the U.S. has helped over 4.1 million people become free from the terrors of ISIS.
As Mattis and Dunford continued their briefing, it became abundantly clear that the defeat of ISIS is all but going to happen. Mattis sent a clear and deliberate message to the press that echoed the sentiment of countless America – we are tired of ISIS and will do anything and everything in our power to dismantle their regime.
“There is no escape for ISIS,” he told the press with a powerful voice. “West Mosul, in accordance with tactics changed by President Trump, is surrounded, and our Iraqi partners are in a stiff fight.”