ISIS could come back in Syria within six months: Pentagon

ISIS could come back in Syria within six months: Pentagon

According to NPR, Trump's comments also sparked the ire of Iraq's main militias, who said they could push for a vote in parliament to kick out us troops. Iran has been deepening its influence in Iraq since the U.S.'s 2003 invasion.

Experts who spoke to Al-Monitor said that al-Asad air base would not be enough to counter Iran's overland and maritime routes into Syria and Lebanon that USA officials believe are used to support Shiite proxies.

Iraqi President Barham Salih on Monday said that President Donald Trump did not request permission from the Iraqi government to leave stationed USA troops in the country for the goal of monitoring neighboring Iran.

A source familiar with Trump's plans also confirmed to Politico that he planned to announce the summit during the address.

Officials say that overall, there are about 2,000 IS militants in Syria.

Salih's comments came hours after Trump appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" claiming troops were in Iraq to keep tabs on Iran.

In addition to support for Israel, the legislation signals strong sentiment among politicians for continuing the limited USA military engagement in Syria.

"When I took over Syria it was infested with ISIS - it was all over the place - and now you have very little ISIS and you have the caliphate nearly knocked out", Trump said in the interview.


Votel's remarks represent the latest warning by current and former USA officials about the risk of a resurgence by ISIS following a planned US withdrawal from Syria that Trump ordered in December. "We don't want to be part of any axis, American or otherwise". US policy has been to keep troops in place until the extremists are eradicated.

But the decision continues to draw widespread criticism, and the commander of U.S. Central Command is now saying that he "was not consulted" prior to Trump's announcement.

"Other US bases are better situated for that", he added, citing American installations such as al-Udeid in Qatar, and a US naval base in Bahrain, where the Pentagon and spy agencies deploy intelligence platforms that can track Iran's movements. He was expected to announce details of the summit with Kim during his annual State of the Union address to Congress later on Tuesday.

He added that territory under Isis control had been reduced to less than 20 sq miles (5,180 hectares) and would be recaptured by US-backed forces prior to the U.S. withdrawal, which he said would be carried out in a "deliberate and coordinated manner".

The Defense Department watchdog report warned that even with the IS forces on the run, the group "is still able to coordinate offensives and counter-offensives, as well as operate as a decentralized insurgency".

Iraq announced the fight against ISIS was over on December 9, 2017, after the group seized the country's second-largest city Mosul, as well as one-third of the rest of the country, before being toppled by an Iraqi military campaign that was backed by the US -led coalition.

In particular, USA support to the SDF is "vital" to that group's ongoing fight against some 2,000 ISIS fighters who are still said to be resisting tenaciously in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.

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