The USPresident, Mr. Donald Trump,claimed on Friday that the ISIS grouphas been ‘100 percent’ defeated in Syria.
He made the comment as he showed reporters maps of the region -- one showing the largeareas once held by the group and a second that showed the situation on Friday with no presence. ‘There’s ISIS, and that’s what he have right now,’ he said, pointing at the two maps. The US spokeswoman, M. Sarah Sanders, said ‘the territorial caliphate has been eliminated in Syria.’
The WhiteHouse declaration came after days of bombing and other attacks by Kurdish-led forces to clear the final tiny pockets of resistance by ISIS in the village of Baghouz, where they made a last stand. US-led coalition warplanes have been supporting local ground forces in the onslaughton Baghouz that began February 9, meeting fierce resistance from the jihadists and an unexpectedly large number of civilians.
The IS, alsoknown as ISIS, declared a ‘caliphate’ in June 2014 after seizing a vast area ofterritory that is bigger than Britain in Iraq and Syria. The loss of theBaghouz enclave would signal the demise of the “caliphate” in Syria,after its defeat in Iraq in 2017. The jihadists still retain a shadowy presencein eastern Syria’s vast Badia desert.