‘We’ll defeat every last IS person’
The United States promised on Wednesday to stay focused on permanently destroying the Islamic State group but asked concerned allies to contribute more, as President Donald Trump boasted that the extremists would soon have lost all their territory in Syria.
This comes as UN sanctions monitors said IS has not been defeated in Syria and continues to pose by far the most significant threat of any terror group.
The UN monitors said: “IS has shown a determination to resist and the capability to counterattack.”
Trump addressed officials from more than 70 countries who arrived in Washington to discuss the battle against IS, after Trump stunned many of them in December by declaring victory and ordering all 2,000 troops out of Syria.
Speaking at the state department, Trump said that US-led troops and their Kurdish allies had “liberated virtually all of the territory” from the jihadists who once controlled a vast stretch of Syria and Iraq.
“It should be formally announced some time next week that we will have 100% of the caliphate,” Trump said.
“Remnants – that’s all they have – but remnants can be very dangerous.
“Rest assured, we’ll do what it takes to defeat every ounce and every last person within the IS madness and defend our people from radical Islamic terrorism.”
The conference comes amid efforts to manage the consequences of the US pullout, including keeping peace between Turkey and Kurdish fighters and finding a solution for hundreds of foreign jihadists jailed in Syria.